As a mailman, John Prine makes a fine singer/songwriter. For over 30 years Prine has been delivering as one of the foremost reporters on the trials and tribulations of human existence. But after a recent brush with the ultimate postmaster general (a bout with throat cancer), hes taken a few steps back to re-evaluate.
Fair & Square is Prines first album of newly penned material in ten years, and it is a triumphant return. The CD contains his best song since "Sam Stone." In "Other Side of Town," he sings of a man being berated by his wife, while in his mind, hes across town drinking beer. Another, "Some Humans Aint Human," contains the lines "Have you ever noticed/when youre feeling really good/theres always a pigeon/thatll come shit on your hood?" Only John Prine could find within this simple occurrence the sum total of life -- not always pretty, but usually entertaining.
Since starting Oh Boy Records to ensure control of his songs, Prine has been leaning more toward a Nashville sound, and Fair & Square continues that trend. Sonically it is of better-than-average quality. Its a bit flat, but demonstrates a decent tonal balance.
But you wont be buying this album as demo material. Youll be buying it to hear what one of our pre-eminent singer/songwriters has to say about life today. Thanks, John, and welcome back. Weve missed you.
GO BACK TO: