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Lay It Down

Cowboy Junkies

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Album Review

Released in 1996, this CD definitively answers a question that has occasionally plagued the Cowboy Junkies: yes, they sound good, but can they rock? Though still laden with the melancholia that has marked previous efforts, this CD is sonically dense, guitar-drenched, and good at high-volume levels. Margo Timmins' voice has never been more expressive, and the lyrics shimmer with intensity. Although the band has occasionally touched on quiet moments reminiscent of fellow Canadian Neil Young, little they have done before this album approached the emotive wail of his louder efforts. The Cowboy Junkies have proven their versatility while retaining their unique sound.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although it didn't originally have anything to do with their sound, the Cowboy Junkies' name wound up seeming pretty accurate: their music was grounded in traditional country, blues, and folk, yet drifted along in a sleepy, narcotic haze that clearly bore the stamp of the Velvet Underground. The vast majority of their songs were spare and quiet, taken at lethargic tempos and filled with languid guitars and detached, ethereal vocals courtesy of Margo Timmins....
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