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Crash Test Dummies, Songs of the Unforgiven

Remember when the Crash Test Dummies were nominated for a Grammy for their widely successful 1993 album God Shuffled His Feet? Seems like yesterday, but unfortunately after their success, thanks to head Dummy Brad Roberts’ embarrassing and immature lyrics, the group headed into a downward commercial spiral with subsequent albums that they have yet to recover from. On Songs of the Unforgiven, Roberts and producer Scott Harding explore the group’s folkish roots. All 17 tracks employ steel and acoustic guitars, harp, banjo, and pump organs. But what gives Unforgiven its character is the church where it was recorded, the location’s warm tone reverberates through out, especially on “The Unforgiven One.” Lyrically, Roberts explores themes of death, murder, punishment, and sin, marking some of his darkest, and moodiest lyrics yet. On “Everlasting Peace,” Roberts sings “Where is there this silence, then, / This everlasting peace? / You’ll find it on the cold blue / Smiling lips of the deceased.” Unforgiven is an un-commercial release that may not bring back the millions of lost fans, but it is a welcome return to form and their best work to date. (Deep Fried Records) Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

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