Friday, December 22, 2006

Steve Almaas & Ali Smith: You Showed Me (Parasol)
released: October 17, 2006
styles: Indie Country Rock/Pop
rating: ***

If the Raveonettes ever explored their country-western side more, it would probably resemble something like this. Steve Almaas, whose history goes as far back as early Minneapolis punk band Suicide Commandos, combines harmonies with book-writer Ali Smith. With the expected pedal steel and ringing country-style guitar, there are several songs that work splendidly (the breezy "Absolutely Free" and the chugging "#7") while only a few wonder off track ("Culebra," featuring an old school Casio rhythm, loses focus). "I Don't Like to be Alone" could have been about Texas, but instead it's an ode to New York City as well as country music's greats. -Kenyon

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