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Five Days In July

Blue Rodeo

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Album Review

Blue Rodeo's best album — and the first of a trilogy of brilliant records that would feature the band at its most epic, brave, and experimental (also featuring Nowhere to Here and Tremolo) — Five Days in July began with Daniel Lanois' advice to the bandmembers that they not be confined by a recording studio, so they dragged their equipment out to Greg Keelor's farmland home and made what is essentially the ultimate "campfire" album. With the exception of the dynamite harmonic cover of Rodney Crowell's "Till I Gain Control Again," the songs have a loose, stoney feel about them — both Keelor's and Jim Cuddy's works feel like they just kind of organically evolved, which actually makes a whole lot of sense given the circumstances under which they were written and recorded. This is the album that at once solidified Blue Rodeo's position as the main trailblazers of contemporary alt-country and one that became a career-defining benchmark by which all their later work would be measured. The fact that their Small Miracles tour in 2008 was still made up of half of this record should be indicative of its incredible importance in the Blue Rodeo canon. The big hits are here ("Bad Timing," "Hasn't Hit Me Yet," "5 Days in May"), as are some hauntingly famous cameos by Sarah McLachlan ("Dark Angel," "Know Where You Go/Tell Me Your Dream"). With the exception of a few upbeat feel-good numbers along the way, the album is a pretty mellow affair — a perfect record for perfectly endless listenability. This was the album in which all of Blue Rodeo's artistic and commercial ambitions would come to fruition: to create epic, rootsy, melodic rock; to break through big commercially (in Canada, at least, where they very rightly became huge megastars); and to create for the world new instant classic solid albums — not just random collections of songs, but the type of flawless album that leaves listeners already breathlessly anticipating what will await them on the next release. Five Days in July is the quintessential and — along with Nowhere to Here and Tremolo — defining moment of Blue Rodeo's career to date, and it is proof positive as to why they have remained Canada's all-time greatest band ever since. It would seem an impossible act to follow, if Blue Rodeo hadn't already so effortlessly done so. A bona fide classic, in every sense of the word.

Customer Reviews

Highly Recommended!

Blue Rodeo's roots are in country-but there's also folk,rock'n'roll,jazz,psychedelia hints here,too.Let's just say these guys are talented and consistently entertaining,in the studio&on the road.5 Days In May & Han't Hit Me Yet are instant classics,Dark Angel is gloomy yet riveting,Cynthia is so catchy...How many love songs do you know about UFO-watching?There are no duds on this record,probably their best effort to date.I strongly suggest downloading this fine effort!And looking into their entire catalog,too.A question for itunes...Where's "The Days In Between/"

Best Album

If there is a better three opening songs anywhere, please let me know. These guys are the best. Great album.

Worth a listen

A bit country-ish... great sounds, nice melodies. Duets with Sarah Maclaughlin are wonderful. The best track by far, though is 'Know Where You Go...' Begins with beautiful acoustic guitar, with a really nice duet-- then moves into the most beautiful song EVER! Must listen, so romantic and beautiful.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

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

Canada's most popular roots rock band, Blue Rodeo, became a veritable institution in their home country, although they never quite moved beyond cult status in the U.S. Their sound was a basic blend of country, folk, and rock, but with a definite pop appeal that underlined their devotion to later-period Beatles, in addition to expected touchstones like Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, and the Band. Consistency was the hallmark of Blue Rodeo's output, both in terms of sound (which followed much the same blueprint...
Full Bio