O Brother, Where Art Thou? ~ Rarities Album reviewed

There’s an old testament that goes something like this: “The longer thee wait, the sweeter thee reward.”
This definitely applies to this title, “O Brother, Where Art Thou? Bona Fide Raities And Unreleased Tracks.”
It is 14 unreleased tracks from the Grammy Winning film soundtrack of 2000.
I reckon in about..oh…the summer of 2011, there was a DeLuxe version (2CD) of “O Brother” with the ‘bonus disc’ containing 14 rare tracks from the vaults. That was the only way you could hear them. Hence, you would have to buy this 2CD set for around $28.99 and you probably already owned the first disc back in 2000? Well, now you can get the rarities CD by itself or (in my case) on a beautiful 180 gram vinyl pressing from LOST HIGHWAY records. I’m sorry to say that if the original 2000 soundtrack was an A+, then this can only receive a B. It falls in the category of Lost Highways’ first follow up titled, “Down From The Mountain” which like this release, just cannot equal the potentcy of the official soundtrack. People may even say that this was just an excuse to cash in on the soundtrack’s surprising Grammy Trophy blowout. That would be accurate too. T-Bone Burnett has worked on so many different projects, that he knew what was gonna sparkle. OK, my woman and I opened up our minds (and our Heineken’s) last night to get our thoughts on it. Here is the way we feel about it:

First of all, there are 7 songs (half the album) that also appeared on the original 2000 album. These are done by different artists, and mostly different arrangements which make the song almost unrecognizable. The two strong points of the album are hands down this:

1) Tom Devil by The Prisoners…over 5 minutes of prison wailing perfection, it’s the best track on it.
2) The last 5 songs were never heard or seen in the film. Most are excellent.

Luckily, The Cox Family and Norman Blake’s tracks really hold this LP together. About one quarter of this album does have 60 second musical interludes that were used a background music for particular scenes from the film. These really don’t go anywhere and are only here to fill a 40 minute album.
All in all, this is a worthwhile purchase if you dig the original one like we sure do. The only bicker I have is that the list price could have been a little lower ($12.00 instead of $19.00) for the vinyl. Then again there is an old cliche that all soundtrack releases have a higher list price. I guess the film studios get a cut? Anyways, I just gotta go listen to “Tom Devil” again (and “The Lord Will Make A Way” by The Fairfield Four.) Take this album with a grain of salt and dig it for what it is. If we compare it too much to the original one, then we get lost in the vertigo. The sound is great, it finishes real strong and the pure-gospel music is welcome.

Happy Listenin’ Y’ All!


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