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Day 286: John Prine – John Prine

11 Dec

Sam Stone

This dude is a former mailman from Maywood.  I really should like his music, and I thought that I did for a little while—John Prine’s 1971 self-titled debut LP starts out pretty strong.  “Illegal Smile,” a tribute to what I’m pretty sure is marijuana, gives the impression that the album is going to have at least a slight sense of humor.  However, by the time “Hello In There” (the next track) rolls around, it becomes clear that this isn’t the case.  What originally appeared to be a few lighthearted jokes take on whole different meanings, and it becomes evident pretty quickly that you’re in for one hell of a depressing ride.

Prine is unrelenting, as the very next song is centered on the line “there’s a hole in daddy’s arm, where all the money goes.”

Prine builds you up every now and then…however, he just ends up tearing you right back down.  Tracks like “Paradise” and “Pretty Good” appear to be positive at first, but quickly take turns for the worst, as everything falls to pieces for Prine and his unfortunate characters.

This just kept happening and happening, and had I been in a different mindset, I might have loved it.  However, I wasn’t  really in the mood for music that makes it seem like there’s nothing good about life.  Believe me, there are times when this record would be absolutely perfect, but that time ain’t right now.

With a weird voice and solid song writing, this record does have plenty of what I want out of my music.  This album will probably come in handy down the road.