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The Neighborhood Is Changing

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Album Review

Solid debut from a promising alternative country artist whose voice, music, and words are all pretty out of the ordinary. The songs of love and romantic entanglement admit to violent impulses that would most likely be censored by the big labels; he uses metaphors like "Nuclear Winter" to talk about a breakup. Like Palace and Freakwater, he's got a knack for matching authentic-sounding Appalachian melodies and arrangements with smart and contemporary lyrics, though he's not as weird as Palace, and certainly weirder than Freakwater.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A poet who has been a published writer since his teens (he edited and published the journal raw bone in the 1980s), House's 1997 debut The Neighborhood Is Changing is an interesting, refreshing blend of traditional country, folk and quirky modern singer/songwriting. Members of the weird Nashville country-avant-rock band Lambchop help out with the production and music, but House is far less satirical than Lambchop, though hardly normal. He sings in a wracked, twangy voice that verges on, but never...
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The Neighborhood Is Changing, Tom House
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