Published Jul 09, 2018At the beginning of the decade, Cowboy Junkies released four LPs in just over a year-and-a-half by recording sessions quickly and live-off-the-floor. These albums, known as The Nomad Series, were lauded for the way they captured a raw dynamism that the quartet hasn't possessed since their breakthrough 1988 opus, The Trinity Session.
With the release of their 16th album, All That Reckoning, the Toronto group craft something simple, passionate and visceral. Much of the album's 11 tracks play off songwriter Michael Timmins' patient, tasteful, Southern-fired strumming, paired with his sister Margo's vocals, that seems to trade traditional choruses and verses for emotionally-charged mood-cycles and storytelling.
Although Michael adds his standard incidental experimental musical breakdowns throughout, as "Mountain Stream" closes off with a weeping e-bow outro and the wonderfully noisy "Nose Before Ear" finds the guitarist and brother Peter (the band's drummer) working off a galloping beat. The swirling "All That Reckoning, Part 2" significantly amps up the noise from the civil opener "All That Reckoning, Part 1" while retaining the same level of primal energy, expertly demonstrating what makes All That Reckoning such an essential part of Cowboy Junkies discography. (Latent)