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Cover artwork

Sound the Sirens

Age of Miracles marks former Green On Red frontman Chuck Prophet's seventh solo record, and by the sound of things, he's settled into a nice, easygoing, languorous groove that consistently beats slacker kingpin Beck at his own game. Prophet hasn't foregone the psychedelic-heartland sound of his former band, a group that was thought to be a godfather to the sound that bands Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt and early incarnations of Wilco put into wider circulation. He forges a sound that very similarly throws a number of wildly divergent musical styles into a blender and hits puree. Blues and rock butt heads with country, folk, and even the occasional rap, as on this record's catchiest number, "You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)," which takes Barry Mann's kitschy `60s hit "Who Put The Bomp" by the feet, turns it upside down and shakes all the change out of its pockets. The title track has a breezy, `70s AM pop vibe, "Automatic Blues" ambles casually through a series of chunky riffs, and "Smallest Man in the World" is a fine country strummer. To hint to Chuck Prophet that a mainstream-friendly record would be in his best interest, you would first have to get him to acknowledge that a "mainstream" exists, because it would seem that Prophet has little or no regard for what is cool to the masses. Age of Miracles has the feel of a keen music junkie dusting off his old LPs and putting together a set of loose stylistic homages to musical days gone by, and Chuck Prophet is as good a guide to those days as anyone.

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by Daniel Rush on December 7, 2004 COMMENTS • Filed under CD Reviews (Age Of Miracles)