¡Americano! vs. Sonoron Hope and Madness

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 6, 2007 - 11:29:23 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers)
¡Americano! is my "go to" favorite Peacemakers album. It's such a tough call between it and Sonoran Hope and Madness, but typically I'll think and say that ¡Americano! is my underlying favorite, as it hails back more to the dusty Mexican borderlines era of The Refreshments.

In huge part, both (the album being referenced as my favorite, and the Refreshments sound) due to the title track ¡Americano!, which is arguably the best Peacemakers song ever. It's hard to say definitively, but certainly if you take out the ballads (Green & Dumb, Bufallo and Your Name On A Grain Of Rice), it's easier to argue. I have other favorites (Colorblind Blues, Beautiful Disaster, Never Thought), but ¡Americano! combines the perfect Mexican soundscape and lyrical imagdry of life on the run, and the heart of human condition.

Blue eyes, white lies, straight teeth and a crooked soul. Let the red blood and the green dinero flow
So, tonight, I put on Sonoron Hope and Madness, to weigh it up against ¡Americano!. It's been quite a while since I've listened to Sonoron in it's entirety. Listening to it was more or less a religious experience. No matter how much I look to ¡Americano! as my favorite, Sonoron is absolutely excellent, and feels more cohesive as an album. Out of the whole album, the only weaker moment is Ballad Of Lupe Montosa. As opposed to ¡Americano!, which has a few more - Mexican Moonshine, Love, Come Lighten My Load and Little Hung Over You. All of which I like, and sing along to insanely, but aren't go to songs.

By the final firework claps on Sonoran after Better Beautiful Than Perfect, I was thinking to myself how it was, if nothing else "the stronger album".

Now, the beauty of MP3's and Winamp is to queue up multiple albums, and I had done this tonight - Sonoran, and then ¡Americano!. It wasn't far until ¡Americano! (the track [smile]) that I couldn't help but question my resolve not more than 3 minutes ago. I often forget how good I Don't Need Another Thrill, Switchblade and God Gave Me A Gun are. In that, I don't have issues with them, but when I think of the album as a whole, I don't think of them as the absolute highlights, but when they come on - it's a different story.

So, by the end of ¡Americano!, I was faced with the delima - despite my thoughts 50 minutes earlier, I can't say that Sonoron is the better album. And I can't say ¡Americano! is the better album either. I really need to say that they both are. On a day to day basis, it's easy to say one is better or a favorite over the other, but when it comes down to it, you can't, they're both equally excellent albums in their own way.

Of course, after this, and achieving nothing other than the realizing that I can't catagorically seperate the two, I gave Honky Tonk Union a spin. Like has been true for a while, and I've mentioned before, this album has taken on a whole different life for me than initially. Back then, "it ain't no Refreshments", these days I can't even see that anymore. Well, I can still remember why I felt that way, the more country influence, but I in no way feel that way anymore. The whole album is quality, and I really get off on the whole thing, much in the way I do with ¡Americano! and Sonoron Hope and Madness. The album, for me, has been like a fine wine, getting better with time. Obviously the later albums, and not having to rely soley on Honk Tonk Union has had an influence, but I think time has also just made it better.

Which all leaves me with the feeling of what an amazing band Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have been, and are. It's easy these days for that to get clouded, especially with the direction that the music has been taking over the last couple of years, which has been widely critized by fans. However, listening to the entire catalogue tonight, I can't help but feel compelled to not write the band of yet, because, despite how it seems, the new album (slated for March I believe), can't not be great - and if it isn't, can't be anything but a bump in the road. You don't put out the immense quality they have over the last 7 years, and then just lose it.

So, what started out as just trying to assess my favorite between ¡Americano! and Sonoron Hope and Madness has actually ended up rejuvinating my Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers levels.
Now Playing: Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - ¡Americano!

Stumbling Through The Graves

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 6, 2007 - 05:08:21 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, )
To continue with whole "I like my lyrics better" thing from the last post about Dead Hot Workshop...

I was talking to Katie today about a train of thought I had yesterday, finding But still I have those days when I'm stumbling through the graves... from Never Thought relatible to some experiences last year. The thought process on that could be a blog entry in it's own right.

In any case, she said how she's always thought it was "grays", and on looking up the lyrics, it is, though I've always sung "graves". Grays totally works, and works just as well for how I was relating to the lyric yesterday, however, I do think my interpretation is cooler! [smile] Lyrics should be run by me before bands go into the studio. [lol]

Now Playing: Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - Never Thought

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