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Temptation

The Waifs

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Album Review

Continuing to provide a sense of drama, Australian folk trio the Waifs have seen one of their members admitted to rehab for alcohol addiction and another discover Christianity in the subsequent four years since their last album, Sundirtwater. Unsurprisingly, these off-the-field activities have played a major part in the shaping of their sixth studio effort, the appropriately titled Temptation, which in keeping with their low-key stripped-back charms, was recorded in a Minneapolis basement over just ten days. Indeed, there are several times you feel like you've rudely wandered in on a particularly grueling therapy session, such is its soul-baring nature, like on the plaintive ballad "Just Like Me," which sees one of the group's two sisters, Donna Simpson, struggle to contain her emotion while she recalls her battles with the drink; the cathartic melancholy of "Somedays," which expresses the urge for inner freedom against a backdrop of gently strummed acoustics; and the slow-chugging blues of barroom confessional "I Learn the Hard Way." But they are positively cheerful compared to the two numbers penned by born-again Christian Josh Cunningham, whose gruff delivery is the perfect foil for the preacher-like sermons of the apocalyptic "Moses and the Lamb" and the seven-minute gospel-tinged title track. It's not all doom and gloom, though. "Beautiful Night" is a vintage slice of '50s-styled Americana based on the theme of domestic bliss, "Day Dreamer" is the kind of lilting sea shanty you'd expect to find on the beaches of Honolulu, and "Falling" is a steel guitar-laden radio-friendly love song reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks' poppier material. Temptation isn't always a easy listen, but while their personal trials and tribulations could have overshadowed many a lesser band's output, the folk-pop veterans have wisely used them to their advantage, creating a record that is achingly honest but utterly melodic at the same time. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Excellent bluesy folky album, building on previous releases

Sorta sad that The Waifs have moved from the land of their birth but the red dust and Westralian coast can still be heard in this excellent bluesy folky album. It's still The Waifs I love. Temptation sees the addition of some earthy Christianity with hard-core gospel roots. I'm lovin' it.

I'm hoping that they tour Oz again soon; this time with better publicity so I won't miss out.

Waste of money.

The Waifs have always had a good track record with their albums, so I guess by statistics they were overdue for a flop.

Temptation, although still maintaining the essence of the Waifs, becomes a mixed affair with the introduction of the religiously themed songs. I don't have anything against religious music, but I don't feel it works for The Waifs. The Waifs were always independent, had their own sound, but they are now progressing more onto the indie Christian scene, something I don't feel works for them.

I only listened to this record once and couldn't listen again; it just felt too much of a radical departure for them.

If you're a long-time fan of Waifs, save your money; this record definitely isn't worth it.

Wishing I hadn't wasted my money on this one!

Have always been a huge fan of The Waifs. Have every album they have ever released, and love them all, except this one. Don't waste your money.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Australia

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Originally performing Bob Dylan covers in and around bars in their native Australia, the sister duo of Vicki and Donna Simpson were known as COLOURS. Formed in 1992 and touring constantly in their homeland, the pair hooked up with Josh Cunningham during a stop in August 1992. A year later, they changed their name to the WAiFS. From there, the group released a cassette of original material but decided to head for Melbourne, the mecca of Australian music. A loyal following and hectic touring pace resulted...
Full Bio