The Lucky Ones Forget by The Craig Brown Band on Third Man Records
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I don’t usually start out a review by writing about a specific song. I normally give a very macro view of the music and some description of the artist first. I am going to shake things up a bit because there is a song on The Lucky Ones Forget that is so amazing it calls for special measures.The Planet Song (Track 2)has me totally hooked. The words are profound and written flawlessly. The song itself is a cross between Crazy Horse era Neil Young, The New York Dolls, The Byrds, and maybe some Camper Van Beethoven in their heyday. A perfect combination of punk DIY attitude and acoustic folk/country. Writing and reading about it doesn’t do it enough justice. You need to hear the song for yourself. Just follow the link.
Craig Brown is a Detroit native and cut his teeth on punk, but has moved into his version of country music. It really isn’t that much of a stretch. It seems many punk rockers who were making high energy and fast music have gravitated to the country side of things. The energy and enthusiasm are still there, but maybe not enough to play as hard as they did when they were younger. Whatever the reason is, The Craig Brown Band fits perfectly into this alt-country/Americana genre. It has some acoustic guitar, harmonica, but still contains all of the muscle of a punk album, just a little less tempo and noise. It sounds great to my two ears.
The songs are all brilliant. Another collection where it is difficult to pick favorites. Well, other than The Planet Song. After that, there is a ten way tie for second place. Craig’s off kilter and quirky singing style is a perfect accompaniment to all of the music. If quirky and unique country is your thing, as it is mine, allow me to recommend I Wondered What (Track 1). It is energetic, profound, and one of a kind. An absolutely perfect country song.
Shoulda Been Fishin’ (Track 7) is another stunner about a different vocation other than music. The words are simple but strung together perfectly. Proof positive that a song doesn’t have to be high brow or esoteric to be profound. The words are backed perfectly by the incredible musical backdrop that makes this song an instant classic.
If you are looking for instant classics, you don’t have to dig too deep or look too hard. There are literally 11 of them on The Lucky Ones Forget. Every time I think I heard what should be one of the best of 2017, another release comes along to totally floor me. Add this one to the ever growing list. Another must have for 2017.