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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

White Light

Gene Clark

1971

Buy At Rough Trade
White Light
Album Summary

White Light, aka Gene Clark, is the second solo album by Gene Clark, former member of The Byrds. It only achieved commercial success in the Netherlands, where rock critics also voted it album of the year. Like all of his post-Byrds records, it did very poorly on the US charts. In June 2018, independent reissue label Intervention Records released White Light on vinyl and as a hybrid CD/SACD.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.82

Votes

11396

Genres

  • Country
  • Pop
  • Folk
  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Thu Oct 06 2022
1

This is the album that made me think that maybe there aren't 1001 albums worth listening to.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
2

“White Light” by Gene Clark (1971) Never heard this album. This was one that I missed when I was young. I never knew of Gene Clark by name, but his association with The Byrds, as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Bob Dylan puts him very good company. As I approach this album, my expectations are high. The highlight of this album is in the lyrics. As a songwriter, Gene Clark utilizes simple melodies to carry elaborate lyrics, like a Bob Dylan or Gordon Lightfoot. But Clark’s poetics are flawed. There is too great a reliance on the device of placing the object before the verb and subject. For poets, this a device sometimes used to maintain the rhyme and meter. But Clark doesn’t use a strict rhyme or meter structure anyway, so it comes off as pretentious and distracting. On the opening track “The Virgin”, we get a story with no ending. On the title track “White Light”, we get an elaborate and thoughtful depiction of an imaginary scene, but without coherent meaning. Clark fails to tie it together. He’s trying to channel Dylan. He’s no Dylan. I thought the lyrics to “Tears of Rage” were better, then I found out that unlike the rest of the songs on this album, these lyrics were written by—Bob Dylan. Musically, the settings are so very plain. Country folk rock three chord monotony. No innovation. Simple to the point of lacking depth and passion. I wish he’d put down the harmonica. Clark’s voice is timid. He struggles to find the notes, high and low. Melody on “Because of You” has the curious ending to each verse on the fifth—not resolving to the tonic until a repeat of the last line of the song. That doesn’t count as innovation. That’s just weird. A melodic doodle. Yawn. I’m glad I heard this album before I die. It reassures me that some of the music I missed when I was young was actually worth missing. 2/5

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Wed Apr 28 2021
1

Maybe artists were less ridiculed back then for covering on the nose material, but that Dylan cover of Tears of Rage halfway through thiss one reminds me of Westlife's Barry Mannilow cover in 2003 - erroneou for being both the best and worst choice. Yes Gene, the song suits you because it's what you're entire sound is cadged from. No Gene, you shouldn't cover it because it mostly highlights your limitations in comparison. Started well, though, and ended even better when he just kinda stopped the song, put down his instruments and called it a day. Love that. No surprise about any of this as I generally find The Byrds unconvincing even when I like them, so one member's solo plight for authentic folksiness was unlikely to score well in my book.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
3

Don't really have much to say about this one other than I found it fairly boring overall.

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Thu Mar 25 2021
1

I've had colonoscpies more pleasurable

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Fri Mar 03 2023
1

As if I didn't have enough boredom in my life, getting served as I was with 4 Byrds albums here already, I got this "bonus".

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Thu Jun 29 2023
4

Well this has happened before... kick straight off with a country twang and a prominent harmonica... "Ugh... kindly fuck off please". But wait... actually it's not too bad. In fact it's really nice and chilled and I'm enjoying it very much. I don't often go in for this kind of folk music, but these are some smooth vocals and the whole vibe is incredibly mellow. Thanks again 1001 for making me confront my various musical prejudices! It's nice, real nice. 3.5 rounded up.

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Fri Feb 24 2023
4

I’ve become a bit of an expert on North American acoustic folk rock from 1971 recently. Not by any desire or design, it’s just I’ve signed up to this 101 North American acoustic folk rock from 1971 albums to hear before you die thingy. To be fair though, this is a particularly decent example. It reminds me of a lot of songs and ideas that came soon after this, including but not limited to: Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, John Prine. And also brings to mind Paul Simon and Cat Stevens who I already enjoyed. More enjoyable to me than all the Crosby/Stills/Nash/Young that have been flooding my ears recently.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
3

Je vais tenter en moins de cinquante lignes de vous prouver que Gene Clark est une ordure. Regardez d'abord son nom, et plus particulièrement sa première particule: Gene. Vous ne remarquez rien ? Laissez-moi vous expliquer. Au moment de choisir un nom de scène, Gene Clark sortit sa carte d'identité de son portefeuille. "Harold Eugene Clark" était-il écrit sur son recto. "Vais-je choisir mon magnifique prénom pour former la première partie de mon nom d'artiste, ou vais-je plutôt choisir le deuxième qui est objectivement dégueulasse ?" Et c'est ainsi que Harold Eugene Clark devint Eugene Clark, plus tard abrégé en Gene Clark puis Gêne Clark, avant d'être rebaptisé La Merde par son rival Cat Stevens. Parlons ensuite de la chanson Ship of the Lord. Je vous rappelle ci-dessous l'échange entre Gene et son producteur Jim Doors Morrison: - Un, deux... - *Musique*. Je suis désolé. - Un, deux. Un, deux, trois... - *Musique* - Ça va pas du tout. Un, deux... - *Musique* - Eh dis donc Gene tu te foutrais pas un peu de notre gueule ? - Pardon, je ne suis pas dans mon état normal... - Qu'est-ce que t'as ? - Rien... c'est simplement que... Cat Stevens détient ma femme et mes enfants dans une caravane non climatisée à l'extérieur de la ville... - T'as pas un peu fini de chouiner Roldah Clark ? - Tu as raison, on reprend. - One, two... - *Musique: Ma feeemme et mes enfaaants sont les hotaaages de Cat Ste-vens, Cat Steeee-vens, Cat Steveeeeeens... * L'échange est évidemment plus long mais vous avez là l'essentiel.

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Thu Oct 22 2020
4

Nicely understated and under appreciated. Soft and lovely, the album can sound a bit the same at first, but the songs quickly grow on you and become your favorites.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
3

La révélation de ces NRJ Music Awards faisait son retour en ce mercredi matin, malheureusement il n'a pas su répondre aux attentes placées en lui. La comparaison avec Jeremy Menez est dès lors inévitable.

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Fri Mar 29 2024
2

Low-key. Pleasant to listen to, but honestly whose world would this actually rock? Maybe that's not the point. "Where My Love Lies Asleep" is a soft, sweet song, and represents most of what is on this album.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
1

This is the first album I’ve listened to in this project that I have just flat out hated. There have been ones not for me, ones I’ve thought were kind of lame, ones that turned me off. But something about this, right from the first track, was kind of stomach-churning. It should be the kind of music I really like; the songwriter from the Byrds trying to do Bob Dylan, but when you have a genre built on authenticity, the worst thing is if you give off a smarmy, false air, and I get that from this. I think it had something to do with the patronizing bullshit of the first track. Do you dislike Cat Stevens? This is that, but worse. Ugh. Favourite track: “Tears of Rage” (the one he didn't write). Least favourite track: The bonus re-issue (which is all Spotify has) has the single worst version of “Stand by Me” I’ve ever heard.

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Tue May 11 2021
1

Like a boring Bruce Springsteen

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

I really like this, especially for a spanish guitar. Maybe i am dutch?

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Thu May 11 2023
4

I had heard his name before but this is the first time I listen to anything by Jean Clark. It’s a good little album and you can hear Bob Dylan’s obvious influence on him and so many Singer songwriters in the late 60s and into the 1970s just like this album.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
3

Reminds me of a country James Taylor, just kind of folk music with a harmonica

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Sun Sep 19 2021
3

The songs sounds all too similar, nothing really stands out. Decent country-esque but not more

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Sun Sep 19 2021
3

Good for the background but overall very average writing, trying hard to be Dylan like.

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Fri May 31 2024
2

Lød sgu lidt benløst! Men meget pænt. Blev glad da Tears of Rage kom fordi den løder virkelig godt, men kom i tanke om at det bare er et cover af en meget bedre originaludgave af The Band, og en endnu bedre Bob Dylan demoudgave fra The Basement Tapes

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Fri May 21 2021
1

Ugh. James Taylor from Wish. Nothing redeeming or captivating about this at all. Lyrics are entirely forgettable, that is when the singing isn't too mumbly to even understand them. Singing is completely lacking in energy and monotonous. Music is basic and boring throughout, save for some harmonica flourishes. And thanks to spotify for the bonus tracks... We get an alternate (?) version of a song that I couldn't stand the first time, and a dreadful cover of stand by me. I have no idea why this album is on this list.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
1

Oh god harmonica country and boring country at that, this is beyond terrible.

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Tue Oct 13 2020
5

Enjoyed immensely. Just the subtle, calm feeling of the moods and lyrics warmed me over pretty well.

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Sun May 23 2021
5

First time listening: 9/9 songs like Oh yeah, this is such a relaxing album all the way through. I have a thing for simple, genuine, music writing, and this is definitely it. Definitely should have gotten more steam with all the folk greats

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Mon Nov 14 2022
5

I really enjoyed this, quite the easy listen,

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

Amazing album, very underrated songwriter. I feel he belongs up there next to Dylan. The man can write beautiful songs and has a lot to say on this short, concise album! 9 out of 10

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

Actually liked this one a lot? Nothing memorable about it, I just listened to it like 5 times in a row

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

Lots of hate in the reviews here - not sure it warrants a best of all time placement, but nice and relaxing. More Byrds ahead it seems

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

Gene Clark - White Light 2nd album by Clark (former member of the Byrds). Only did well in the Netherlands. Tears of Rage is so good. I found this album too be really good and in the spirit of Graham Parsons. Shame it didn't do well when it was released but I hope it's found it's audience today. 5/5

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Tue May 21 2024
5

I've never listened to any of Gene Clark's solo albums before. I loved this one. Already downloaded to listen again. Just really good songwriting with great melodies.

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Tue Jun 04 2024
5

+1 for Album cover I wouldn’t call this country. I really love this vibe. Acoustic 70’s never disappoints.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Another solid effort from ya man Gene Clark. I know who he is now... decent!

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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

Quite nice folk/country mix. Enjoyed "Because of you"

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Do you want a hug, Gene? Really gorgeous and open country-rock. Winter In is superb.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

I had never heard this before. Some tracks that were covers ( maybe he did the original?) Can hear his influence in Springsteen

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

This album has more of a country sound to my ears, but Wikipedia says it’s a rock album. Either way, I like it. I don’t know that I’d necessarily look up more by this artist, but I did enjoy this album. It was good music for chilling.

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Thu Mar 25 2021
4

While admittedly not the most exciting album, I'm a big fan of the Byrds and their members' solo work. Loved it.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

just some real nice folk music. Gene White - founding member of The Byrds

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

Pretty good singer-songwriter fare

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Always grateful to get recommended more country music, as I don't know the genre all that well and being exposed to the best can allow me to garner a greater appreciation. Sounds a bit like Dylan at some points but is nowhere near as grating. It's a sweet and mellow album, as the warm sounds of Clark's voice and guitar float through my ears. I wish it had a bit more substance though. Nothing wrong with a simple album, it just ends up not being wholly remarkable or memorable for individual moments. Still rocks near the end though and I can always get down with a barn-burner! Thanks for the music, Gene.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

Surprised me, quite liked it.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Folk de guitarras clásicas, mejora cuando se inclina más hacia el pop. Tranquilísimo y bello.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Great melodies, perfect for driving

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Sat May 08 2021
4

Great folk songs even though this is not my favorite thing.

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Sun Aug 08 2021
4

Mile zaskoczenie, bo od tej strony nie znalem jeszcze glownego teksciarza byrdsow, pana Gene, ktory na swojej drugiej solowej plycie dotitnie pokazuje, ze mial on lwia czesc zaslug jesli chodzi o sukces bandy, bo zazwyczaj jak sie mysli o byrdasch, to na mysl przychodzi Crosby i jego gitarkowanie, McGuinn jako glowny wokalista, ale rozbudowane lirycznie teksty utrzymane w psychodeliczno folkowym klimacie, to jednak w wiekszosci zasluga Clarka, no i nie mozna zapomniec o harpie, ale co do samego albumu white light, nagrany w 71 z czlonkami latajacych braci burritosowych i bandy stefka mlynarza, material jest dosc krotki, bo tylko 35 minut na 9 kawalkow z czego wiekszosc to kompozycje orginalne clarka, jedynie tears of rage dylana jest tutaj coverem, na plycie dominuja proste kompozycje oparte na dwoch gitarkach i harpie, zarowno gitarka i harpa operuje pan Gene, no i oczywiscie jest on glosem plyty, bo to przeciez jego material, urzeklo mnie podczas odsluchu jak album progresuje swoje brzmienie, pierwsze traki same gitarki i harpa, co przywodzi na mysl styl country z folkowymi wokalami, dochodza kolejne instrumenty, tutaj bongosy, tam drumsy, kolejne organy, elektryk, klawisze, w wyniku czego juz przy tears of rage i konczacym plyte 1975 czuje sie jakbym sluchal klasycznego rokowego materialu, folkowe brzmienie w ciagu 30 minut zupelnie ewoluowalo, a obie czesci plyty slucha sie rownie dobrze, to dopiero sztuka, a sztuczki mozna szukac w solidnych tekstach, ktorym najblizej do wspomnianego juz dylana czy neila younga i jego folkowego okresu, niestety nie dodam nic na plejke, bo spotifaj nie posiada w swej biblitoece akurat tego albumu, ktory widocznie nie sprzedal sie zbyt dobrze, jak zreszta cala solowa tworczosc Clarka, a wielka szkoda, ze taki artysta jest znany tylko jako czlonek byrdsow

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Fri Aug 13 2021
4

Kon mij zeker smaken. Lekker rustig, heb er zelf een dutje bij gedaan

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

I rather enjoyed this album. Mellow and folky.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

I love beautiful, sad songs and this album is chock full of them. Really good stuff. This could become a 5 star album for me after listening about 10 times, but for now I'll give it 4 stars.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Dylan-esque folk rock. This is a sound/style I enjoy. This kind of music always feels so classic to me, kind of like coming home I guess. Maybe not the most groundbreaking album. I listened to this over two days. The first day it wasn't really clicking with me but the second day I quite enjoyed it. 1975 in particular was really great. Probably more like a 3.5 for me.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

I liked it enough to listen to it twice, but there was nothing that jumped out at me particularly, though Stand By Me was recognizable

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

a tough collection of songs - Dylan/Manuel's "Tears of Rage" is the pick of the bunch - but Gene Clark sings them all with great depth.

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Fri Mar 04 2022
4

I quite like actually its like a more country version of old Harrison

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

I get annoyed when Clark is listed among the great songwriters; to me, he's a tier or two below that. That doesn't mean he's a bad songwriter, though, and there's some good stuff here, even if it is a bit mellow and same-y. Best track: For a Spanish Guitar

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Thu Mar 17 2022
4

Ngl this is amazing, I like this

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

I don't know man. This feels like a pretty run of the mill decent album for me. The writing is solid, and dude is hitting licks with that harmonica.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

I'm not a big fan of country music, but it was great as a background to my working hours. There is something in country music that is triggering me all the time, but in this one there wasn't.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
4

Chilled well crafted songs. Nothing mind-blowing but I enjoyed most of them.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

Хороший альбом. Светлый, добротный. Напомнил сольный альбом Джорджа Харрисона.

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Sun Jun 12 2022
4

pretty good, had some enjoyable parts but far from perfect 8/10

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

Massa massa Rockzao da antiga

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Enjoyable listen. The type of laid back country tinged rock that existed, before wall-of-sound country arrived a few years later and urbanised the genre. Great.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Country, folk, 1971. Very good record full of great songs and a really well played cover of "Stand By Me". The mood is calm but sometimes melancholic and the tracklist is clever and interesting. After all the project is really solid.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

I have a soft spot for Gene Clark and sadly he's career really never took off the way that it should. I seem to disagree with with which albums are selected by artists for this list. this album is good but No other and Roadmaster are much better. Also the extra songs on the current release are not very good and take away from the original release.

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

Great stuff. Gene Clark has a way of getting into your soul with the way he plays music.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
4

Quite enjoyable. Early country rock

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Thu Nov 10 2022
4

folky and very nice. 4 stars.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
4

A lovely album similar to David Crosby (also a former band member of The Byrds) and his album “If only I could remember my name”. Both highly rated albums!

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

Nice light album Nothing special IMO but easy to listen to

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Fri Nov 18 2022
4

Quite nice actually. Great to listen on a ferry.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
4

Gene Clark is so underrated. This is like listening to Bob Dylan but not actually wanting to cut of my ears because of the screeching harmonica and horrible voice. Don't get me wrong I love Bob Dylan, but a whole album of his can get so hard to listen to. Even though the lyrics aren't as deep or captivating or whatever this is nice for a change. 5 Though it sure is not the most memorable.

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Sat Dec 10 2022
4

Never heard any of his music before or of him, but really good singer-songwriter music.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
4

Reminescent of Tom Petty, Dylan, Drake. Acoustic guitar and harmonica folk. Really nice songs. Good discovery.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
4

8/10. I guess I'm a bit of a Gene Clark fan, this was really nice.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
4

99 / 1069 Prefer No Other, this is certainly more country. Still a great listen!

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Thu Feb 02 2023
4

Great voice and great songwriting but sounds like a demo album esp some of the percussion.

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Wed Mar 22 2023
4

Actually pretty good, and I was honestly surprised based on description. But missing anything elevating.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
4

I was so pleasantly surprised by this. It feels timeless but still quintessentially 70s.

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