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iTunes Review

Subtitled "A Country Rock Opera," Tucson expands the ranks of Howe Gelb's Giant Sand ensemble to 12 musicians, with a variety of guests further fattening the rolls (therefore the name Giant Giant Sand). Nineteen songs over nearly 70 minutes make up this "concept album"; Gelb's fans won't be surprised to learn it features a hard-to-identify plot line. As befits Gelb's Arizona, the desert has a drifter—"a semi-grizzled man with overt boyish naivete"—who lands in jail, falls in love with a woman, and fears the end of the world. Guest vocalists provide the voices of other characters, and a string section from Aarhus, Denmark (the same city where many members of Giant Sand hail from), increases the cinematic sweep. However, as with all Giant Sand albums, the music revolves around Gelb's dry vocal delivery and his sense of community and alienation. Tunes like "Lost Love," "Plane of Existence," and "Not the End of the World" have a spooky presence that has guided Giant Sand's music for decades, concept or not. 

Customer Reviews

Any Howe Gelb concoction is a good thing.

I've been a Howe Gelb fan for many many years now and look forward to any Giant Sand release with eager anticipation. I have been told many times that I have peculiar tastes in music, and that is just fine with me. Howe Gelb I suppose is an acquired taste, and I hope he forever remains so. Like most Giant Sand collections this one has some great songs, some good songs and some filler (not a whole lot of filler this time). For my particular tastes this could be a good 10-12 song album and a truely great 6 song album. That makes it well worth the purchase for me.

Easily my favorite record of the year so far

I think this is one of their best records, all the way through (all 19 songs) beautifully recorded and mixed as well.

Great again!

I agree with Clancydubh…great songs, good songs and filler. Been a fan of Howe forever, and his style and sound inspire my own guitar playing. Like Paul McCartney said when told that the White Album should've been one record, he said "Shut up, it's the bloody Beatles White Album!." It's all good.

Tucson, Giant Giant Sand
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Customer Ratings