Mercury Rev - Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited
Feb 8, 2019 (updated Feb 8, 2019)
87
this should be titled "Reimagined" rather than "Revisited", as it has almost nothing to do with the original in either tone, intent, or setting. the original was an art-folk-pop-country hot mess that worked because of Bobbie Gentry's authentic narrative voice. as scattered a story as it told, it was clearly HER story.

this Reimagining substitutes multiple narrators inhabiting different tonal worlds, so we are already headed down a different path. the results are more kaleidoscopic and hazy, but the new interpretations are sometimes compelling and moving. Rachel Goswell's "Reunion" bears no resemblance to Gentry's hand jive original but it is brash and disturbing in an intriguing way. others who seem made for this project are Sandoval, Price, Sundfør, Bunyan, Bridgers, Nadler, and Orton. poor old moany Norah Jones, not so much. the album closer, not even on the original record, is predictable and poorly done and for an album that is all about being "about a place", only Lucinda Williams (or Steven Tyler, or whoever that is) seems like she is out of place here.

oh, and thanks to Mercury Rev for being an outstanding backing band and letting the vocalists shine. that took a deep level of humility as well as commitment to the music and the project, and they deserve all credit.
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