Album: Giant Giant Sand, Tucson: a Country Rock Opera (Fire)
Sometimes, bigger is not better: Giant Sand's Howe Gelb has often been most potent with minimal resources, which may explain why I'm slightly underwhelmed by this major project featuring an extended group line-up of around a dozen players.
It's partly to do with the thinness of the narrative – the emotional journey of "a semi-grizzled man with overt boyish naiveté" – and partly the slick competence of the backings, which seem to restrict the way Gelb evokes the protagonist's restless search for freedom. This isn't to suggest there aren't plenty of enjoyable moments, notably in the mariachi country lilt of "Forever and a Day", the ebullient cumbia of "Carinito", and the emotional tremors of "Love Comes Over You".
Download: Forever and a Day; Love Comes Over You; Carinito
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services