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Maybe it’s just the journalist in me, but I sure hate it when someone misquotes me. What I said about Son Volt’s record Trace was that it’s “as good as any by an American rock band over the past 20 years.” That’s a far cry from calling it “the greatest album of the past 20 years,” which is what Rickey Wright said I said in his 6/13 review of Son Volt’s latest release, Straightaways.

In taking issue with my judgment on Trace, Wright says that it’s “as if Rust Never Sleeps, Sons of Soul, or Different Class never happened.” Sheesh. Ain’t rock crit grand?

First of all, Sons of Soul is by Tony Toni Toné, hardly a rock band, and Different Class is by Pulp, reigning Britpop kings. Try reading what it is you’re about to slam, before slamming. Second of all, can’t we just

bag the absolutes? I wasn’t making

a “Greatest Records of All Time” list, something most music writers (and Rickey Wright) seem compelled to do, ad nauseam. I was putting it up there with some other recent greats, including, fer sher, Rust Never Sleeps.

And no question, Wilco’s Being There is a better second record than the dull Straightaways, but A.M.’s not nearly as good as Trace. I’ll go to the mat on that. And why is Wright so pissed off at all these alt-country boys anyway? They’re just out there trying to make good music with some long taproots. Is that so bad? As far as acting virtuous about being better than Nashville, most of the musicians I talk to who play this new country-rock also listen to pop-country, taking it for what it is and not being all self-righteous. It’s the dastardly media that proclaims alt-country better than Reba. Now, don’t get me started. I like Reba.

Washington Post

via the Internet