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Album Review

Musicians place a great deal of importance on other musicians' ability to craft their own songs, so it's extremely unusual for a songwriter like Slaid Cleaves to put an entire album together of other peoples' songs as he has on Unsung. As he states, "these days, the songs that knock me out are the ones I come across face to face, in my travels and in my home." This sort of self-effacement is welcome, because there are so many good songs out there that go unheard while songwriters, inspired or not, usually insist on writing new ones. The strange thing about Unsung, though, is that Cleaves manages, through his warm, lived vocals and Americana backing, to make the most of these songs — songs written by other singer/songwriters — sound like his own. In fact, it's an easy bet that if an old fan picked up the album and listened to "Devil's Lullaby" and "Racecar Joe" without bothering to read the credits, he or she'd never know the difference. The songs, by writers like Peter Keane and Chris Montgomery, are literary, tuneful, and, in the mouth of Cleaves, well-worn friends. With solid arrangements and well-chosen songs, Unsung should satisfy anyone who appreciates a thoughtful song well sung. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews


Those of you who've purchased this album, but failed to rate it, should find yourselves remiss. Millionaire is one of Slaid's best song's. If you like it, check out "Breakfast in Hell".

Way awesome!

One of my all time favorites! Pandora just isn't enough, I had to buy each album by this guy!!!


Born: June 9, 1964 in Berwick, ME

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The music of Austin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Slaid Cleaves is rooted in country and traditional folk songs, but it is unusual enough to have held interest in a sea of singer/songwriters across the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. While he released a handful of recordings during the early '90s, he gained significant notice with No Angel Knows, which was released on Rounder's Philo subsidiary in 1997. Joined by former Lucinda Williams guitarist Gurf Morlix, Cleaves combined his passion for folk...
Full Bio
Unsung, Slaid Cleaves
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Customer Ratings