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BoDeans

They certainly didn't invent Americana music or, for that matter, reinvent it, but the BoDeans were responsible for one of its biggest hits, courtesy of an irrepressible anthem called "Closer to Free." Thrust into the genre's top ten after the television show Party of Five made that tune its theme song, the BoDeans enjoyed several popular albums, a tour with U2, and a Best New Band designation from Rolling Stone. It's been at least a decade since the band's profile climbed to such dizzying heights, but a new disc released under its own auspices offers hope for reclaiming past glories. True to its title, Still reaffirms the BoDeans' dynamic: riveting vocals, assertive yet seductive delivery, and an innate passion that elevates each song to stirring proportions. Reunited with producer T-Bone Burnett (the man behind the boards for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' current collaboration), the band's two mainstays — guitarists/vocalists Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann — imbue their close-knit harmonies with anthemic resolve and an underlying urgency that suggests a more incisive Everly Brothers. The chemistry clicks seamlessly on "Every Day," "Round Here Somewhere," "Arms," and "Hearing" in particular, but ultimately there's not a single song here that doesn't offer Still the opportunity to soar.

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Lee Zimmerman

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