Cordelia Elsewhere is the fifth album from Drunken Prayer, which is the nom de plum of stalwart Freakwater guitarist Morgan Geer. It plays like a collection of aural snapshots gathered from a life spent on the road. “I hate what they did to my town, so I moved to another town.” Geer sings on the ragged and rockin’ “Cordelia.” It appears that he’s always been a traveler, a trend that began as he followed his folk singer mom around the country on tour as a youth.
The music presented on Cordelia Elsewhere is a heady, and slightly eccentric stew of American styles from the past century or so. From the seemingly apocalyptic and mysterious lyrics that populate the neo-country blues of “Fifty Foot Locust” to the easygoing soulful groove of “Ni Ni Neo,” a lot of ground is covered over the album’s ten songs. While the mournful pedal steel, and modern outlaw country slant of “Rubble and Dust” show an artist who’s not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve when it counts.
It seems like Geer’s time clocking up the miles has instilled in him a deep knowledge and understanding of what makes a diverse collection of songs hang together in a way to create a whole greater than its parts; while an expert mixing job by Mitch Easter (Let’s Active, R.E.M.) gives the music presented on Cordelia Elsewhere the proper depth and fidelity. Just because it’s science doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful.
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