This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/02
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Cris Cuddy's music is similar to one of those European travel packages covering eight countries in seven days. However, this is really meant as a compliment. His ability to capably switch from genre to genre, Cajun to jazzy, celtic to western, torch song to waltz, is noteworthy. He performs this musical travelogue in less than an hour and for much, much less than the cost of even the most cut-rate tour.
Some may find such an eclectic offering disconcerting, especially music store employees who need to classify and place this CD in a bin. But the quality of Cuddy's offerings makes this genre-tripping worthwhile.
Another Cuddy strength is his talent for writing both easy-to-connect-the-dots songs, along with more oblique dramas. He provides ample evidence of both throughout this release.
His more intricate offerings are the standouts.
"Lyin' In My Dreams" features an intriguing lead character reflecting on some evil-doing down Virginia way. What this character says and how he says it perfectly matches the setting of the story.
The drum/percussion-driven "Henry Morgan The Pirate" has an infectious rhythm and an accordion-aided celtic feel. Cuddy draws a parallel between the actions of the pirates of yore and modern marauders now masquerading as respectable business people.
"Just For A Thrill" opens with a cad relating his relationship dogma of loving and leaving. The character states: "Just for a thrill, I'd do most anything." As the story and song play out, a surprising twist occurs. Cuddy closes, singing:
"...Just for a thrill, I let you love meTwo henchmen are debating and awaiting their fate after carelessly playing a little too freely with their "collection" money in "What If Frankie Doesn't Like It?" They lament:
Just for a thrill, I let you think I cared
But the thrill lingers on now that you're gone
And I'm losing my heart, just for a thrill."
"...If Frankie doesn't like it, he'll take us swimmingThe spooky "Two Of A Kind" has a dramatic violin opening and soft accordion backing throughout. Portraying a strangely paired-up, mind-shifting duo, Cuddy sings:
Buy us a brand new pair of shoes..."
"...I was the last of the hard lovin' losersHe goes on in this tale of transmogrification:
You were the first in a long line of users..."
When I look back on the memories I thought I hadSpecial mention should be made of those talented musicians backing Cuddy on this release. For this is one of those collection of songs where
Of someone I thought that I knew
I realize that something is missing
What I saw just wasn't you..."
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