Monday, 19 September 2011

Kevin Costner & Modern West - From Where I Stand

From Where I Stand It's Not Looking That Good

This really is easy-listening, formulaic country/indie pop. Costner's voice is pleasant enough but it is light and ordinary, unlike, for example, the deeper growl of fellow filmstar Jeff Bridges whose eponymous album has much more variation and distinctive style compared with this, and even not compared with this!

It is hard to find any stand-out song on this album. That's not true: it isn't possible. They all merge in their placid familiarity and cliched lyrics. Hurricane Rain tries to inject some umph. Let The River Carry Itself  is rather insipid.  Let's Go Tonight [featuring Nena] makes no significant use of the extra voice. Cleo At The Wheel starts well but its repetitions of 'Drive On!' simply mock the attempt at gusto - the storyline deserves more sass than what's delivered.

Acoustic closer The Angels Came Down [remastered] foregrounds Costner's vocal with the most impact on the whole album - a relative term - but the lyrical drivel about war, angels, heaven and souls just smacks of a simplistic thinking that panders to an audience that believes in this kind of cosy distancing from reality. I'm a little surprised at this, though I guess I shouldn't be when thinking of a film like Field Of Dreams, which is an ironic observation because I love that film! And I do like Costner as an actor - not always - and it hasn't been easy to be so negative about this album, but it just doesn't present anything new or special or even distinctive in conveying the familiar.

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