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T BONE BURNETT The True False Identity
Columbia (2006)

T Bone Burnett

T Bone is one of America's most acclaimed musicians and songwriters. He released his first album in 1972, has toured with Dylan, written hits for KD Lang, Los Lobos, Emmylou Harris and many others and been in the production chair more often than I've had hot dinners (Counting Crows, Gillian Welch, Sam Phillips, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and many, many more).

He's also immersed himself in movie soundtrack work (O Bother, Cold Mountain, Walk The Line, The Ladykillers and more).

As they say, then, a pretty big cheese. But True False Identity actually sees his re-emergence as a recording artist - his first set of new material since 1992. In it's final form it will be a dual sided disc with a dvd side featuring live performances and pearls from the main man.

With this degree of ‘history' you wonder what to expect from a man revered within the industry, but perhaps only on the periphery of the record buying public's shopping list. A continued dalliance with country? Wrong. It's a brooding slab of thought provoking rock. A musical melting pot of rock, blues and country. Imagine sticking Robbie Robertson, Elvis Costello and U2 in the Tardis and sending them back to the late sixties - they could well have come up with The True False Identity.

There's a diverse range of material on offer here in range of styles, but with rock as the underlying bedrock. Palestine, Texas has an almost Bullet The Blue Sky feel over laced with some of the best blues / funk guitar work in many a blue moon, There Would Be Hell To Pay is slow brooding blues, Every Time I Feel The Shift starts with an almost reggae beat, building like a U2 jam with blistering fuzz / wah wah guitar. There's a bewildering variety of styles.

This isn't a pop record - it's a serious piece of work that requires an investment of listening time. So was it worth the 14-year wait? Absolutely. Reputation intact? You bet your ass.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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Why should I buy this CD?

A mature and individualistic piece of work from a rock legend. Unexpected and wonderful.

Burn baby burn

Palestine, Texas, There Would Be Hell To Pay, Fear Country, Baby Don't You Say You Love Me