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Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders

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The Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" is an angry, roots-rock/punk rock rant. At least its original recording, that is. In Eric Anders' hands, though, this energetic blast (from the past) is like an angry bear immediately after it has been suddenly tranquilized. It is sluggish and slightly disoriented.

Not everything on Anders' full-length is a cover version, mind you. However, most of the disc features Anders' slightly depressed sounding vocals, atop rock & roll dirges. This album is a compilation drawn from Anders' four prior albums. To help give it its cohesive sound, Anders turned to Jeff Peters (whose credits include prior work with the Beach Boys and Brian Setzer, to name two high profile employers). The result is somewhat lethargic, yet also aurally rewarding.

"Genocide and Justice" is emblematic of what Anders does best. While his voice may be dryly Nick Drake-esque, it's nevertheless effective. With its loud electric guitar accompaniment, this track sometimes sounds like an un-caffeinated Neil Young, as a reference point.

It may be best to think of Anders as a guy who politely whispers musical pearls of wisdom.

Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders
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