I’m not really the genre expert here. I mean where does country become Americana and Americana morph into acoustic rock? However, I do know what I like and I like this album – sometimes it’s a guilty pleasure but what the hell.
Zoe Muth’s third full length solo album falls somewhere into the above categories but begins with the mainstream sound of ‘Little Piece Of History’. Immediately it switches to the pedal steel and honky-tonk piano of ‘Mama Needs A Margarita’ and here’s where the guilt comes in. It’s a bitter song with some pithy lines like ‘Two-steppers and two-timers’ to describe the denizens of a Texas roadhouse and its delivery and arrangement are held just this side of over the top. You could parody it without changing a word or a note.
A cover of Ronnie Lane’s ‘April Fool’ is an acoustic rock interlude but the best track is ‘Too Shiny’. It’s something we all know: it’s sometimes better to have to struggle and make do. With success everything is too new – too shiny – and life loses its bite. ‘Waltz Of The Wayward Wind’ takes another country trope and neatly subverts it. Subversive country – that’s what World Of Strangers is.
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Artist’s website: www.zoemuth.com
An early (pre-recording) version of ‘Mama Needs A Margarita’: