Thursday, July 3, 2003

Review - Terroir Blues

Artist: Jay Farrar

Posted on Thu, Jul 3, 2003 at 4:00 AM

When Uncle Tupelo broke up, early predictions seemed to peg Jay Farrar as the Simon to Jeff Tweedy's Garfunkel. As time goes on, that prediction couldn't have been more wrong. While Tweedy continues his seemingly endless and rebellious creative streak, Farrar spins his wheels, reusing and diluting the sentiments that made his seminal work with Uncle Tupelo so emotionally rich. "Terroir Blues" doesn't so much begin where 2001's "Sebastopol" left off, it just recycles the lyrical and melodic ideas that Farrar has been stuck on since Tupelo's split. When "Cahokian" opens with "I will wait for you in the green, green spaces wearing our post-industrial faces" and Farrar croons of the "trash pile twin," he simply suffers from the law of diminishing returns. Even "Terroir's" brightest moments ("Heart on the Ground," "All Your Might") offer nothing by way of originality and most of Farrar's nuevo-cowboy balladeering is plainly indistinguishable. "Terroir Blues" is evidence that every time Farrar reinvents this particular wheel it just ends up becoming increasingly square.

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