Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: Craig Bancoff "Eden"

Craig Bancoff is making contemporary alt-country music for grown ups. If you are looking for that perfect soundtrack for your early morning Sundays, or something to contemplate during an overcast day, Bancoff's "Eden" is the CD to play.

Fearlessly exploring the "outskirts of Eden" with his wise and insightful lyrics, Bancoff is no stranger to the grit and grime of every man's work day. He has roots in the coal mines of western Pennsylvania, and the melancholy in his music captures that imagery. "Eden" is similar to the darker Springsteen acoustic classics, like "Nebraska" or "Ghost of Tom Joad". Still, at times, you can see a glimmer of light and inhale a breath of fresh air as you emerge from the depths of this record. The beautiful cover art is truly reflective of the music inside.

Bancoff couches his songs in pedal steel, mandolin, and acoustic guitars, straddling the line between soft rock and country. The instruments are expertly recorded, capturing their innate qualities rather than burying them in effects and noise. Bancoff's gentle yet firm vocals are ideal for this genre, somewhere between Jackson Browne and James Taylor. Highlights include the catchy opener "Crutch", the weepy "Beautiful Lies", and touching ballad, "Waiting".

If you like Tom Petty ("Wildflowers" era), Jayhawks, or Works Progress Administration, there is plenty on "Eden" that will feel like paradise to you.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 5, 7, 10

Craig Bancoff on MySpace. Official site.


Mimi said...

Craig Bancoff's new album "Eden" is brilliant.

Allison said...

I Love this guy! Great review, it really captures the mood of the album. I will check you out in the future!