This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 6/01
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Jeff Talmadge's latest release is court-admissable evidence he is a direct decendent of the Brothers Grimm. With a dose of Leonard Cohen, sprinkled with a dash of Sylvia Plath, "Bad Tattoo" is littered with human wreckage. Its characters, try, or sometimes not, as they might, invariably cannot get on the right side of a relationship.
"Lie To Me" opens the parade of pathos. Featuring ominous vocals and harmonica backing, this cut explores the mirage world we sometimes prefer to live in--the times when it is easier to live a lie rather than face reality. Talmadge's chorus goes:
"...Lie to me and tell meIn the positive thinking vein, "Bad Tattoo," is slightly askew, but still the most Norman Vincent Peale-ish song of the release. Talmadge sings:
What I want to hear
Lie to me, whisper in my ear
You know the truth is overrated
You can read that in a book
When you walk by I only want you
To give me a second look
And lie to me..."
"...You try to forgetHe follows with this bromide:
But still there's something to remind you
A photograph or a memory
Stirs something hidden deep inside you
Some love is like a bad tattoo..."
"...Just because it hurtsDelving into the aftertaste of a failed relationship, "Closing The Circle," veers towards the philosophical, with a pain chaser. Talmadge sings:
That doesn't mean the time was wasted
The bitter pill you took
Is not the only thing you tasted..."
"Tonight I'll try and close the circleHis chorus:
Tie the loose ends in a knot
And I swear I won't remember
All the things that she forgot..."
"...They say that life is just a circleOne of the best songs, "Angels On The Lawn" is a cut of a totally different order. Unable to determine reality due to failing eyesight and dementia, the protagonist in the story "sees" and is visited by angels. Those wearing wings include her caretakers. Issue a tissue alert for this one when it begins.
An axis in an orbit on a wheel
Call it karma, call it fiction
No compass here can show the way to feel..."
Make sure your life is in relatively good working order before handling this release. At best, you'll see some of your past played out here. At worst, your present.
Talmadge, on guitar and vocals, is supported by Bradley Kopp, Annie Gallup and Lorrie Singer on backup vocals; Kopp on guitar; Gene Elders on violin; Bucka Allen on accordian; Mark Hallman on harmonica; Glenn Fukunaga on bass and Paul Pearcy on percussion.
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