1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

999. The Louvin Brothers – Tragic Songs of Life


Brief Background: Released in 1956, this is the first Louvin Brothers album. Most of their early singles were Gospel songs, with their first secular single released in 1955. Most of the songs are traditional and/or songs done in arrangements of artists they admired.

What I liked:  With the folk/country/bluegrass revival that is so popular in music today, this seems like required listening for any fan of The Avett Brothers or Mumford and Sons. While I enjoy those two bands there is something really earnest and sincere that comes across with this album that isn’t quite there with the modern stuff. The harmoney between the two brothers is also pretty amazing throughout the album. “In the Pines” will be familiar to anybody who is a fan of Leadbelly or Nirvana and this is a great version. “Alabama” is another stand out track on the album.

What I Didn’t Like:  Kentucky” feels to me like it is a song written by a person who isn’t really in love with Kentucky. It seems to me that writing it was akin to a chore. “Knoxville Girl” is especially graphic in the description of murder of the singers girlfriend. It did make me questions the other songs I missed on the album and whether I may have missed a lot of other dark themes….I think I did. The murder theme of “Knoxville Girl” is is a lost form, and one which is probably for the better. It is interesting to consider songs like this when people describe current violent themes.

My Overall Thoughts: It was a really fun listen, but I ran out of excitement for it by the end, and at a running time of 32 minutes it should be able to hold my attention.

Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Yes, it is a cohesive piece, that you can just tell influence so much music to come after it. It’s not steller from start to finish, but it works.

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5

Amazon Review (Out of 5): 5

Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (3/3)


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This entry was posted on November 5, 2013 by .

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