erasing clouds

Cracker, Greenland

reviewed by tonydoug wright

The Band: David Lowery, Johnny Hickman, Frank Funaro, Kenny Margolis, and Victor Krummenacher

The History: David Lowery formed Cracker in the early 1990s after Camper Van Beethoven disbanded. Blending punk, country, and Americana, Cracker has found success in the mainstream with their alternative hits “Low” and “Get Off This”. Greenland is their tenth album.

The Review: I like to borrow CDs from the library because it’s a good way to legally test drive albums for free. My library has an impressive selection of music and they are always adding new releases to their collection. Last week, I noticed Greenland by Cracker in their “New Releases” section and thought to myself “Where have you guys been?”

It was sometime in the late 1990s when Cracker was somehow displaced in my musical memory database, which is odd because I was extremely impressed with their 1992 eponymous debut and liked their following albums Kerosene Hat and The Golden Age. David Lowery is not one to disappoint, I mean this is the guy who brought us the 80’s indie rock anthem “Take The Skinheads Bowling”. I was eager to see if he still could deliver the goods or if this was going to be one of those albums that leave fans shaking their heads wondering what went wrong.

After a few spins, I realized that the rowdy humorists who gave us “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)” have developed into a more sophisticated bunch of humorists with a laid-back style that seems to be light years from “I Hate My Generation”. At first, Greenland is a shock to fans that are expecting a bunch of raucous material because “Something You Ain’t Got”, the opening track, is a country inspired ballad with solid lyrics, “Well I ain’t seen you since I drank all night / Now my eyes are black ‘cause I fought all night”.

At first, I was somewhat under whelmed with Greenland, but Cracker quickly won me over with every listen. I assumed this album would be a carbon copy of older albums, but was delightfully surprised. “Where Have Those Days Gone” is a throwback to their early albums, “Fluffy Lucy” is a soft folk number and “The Riverside” is Greenland’s rocker. These tracks are a good example of the band’s maturity, something that certain bands fail to achieve or flat out avoid.

The album starts off strong and most importantly it ends strong. “Darling We’re Out Of Time”, the final track, is about a failed relationship but it has all of the right ingredients of being Cracker’s swan song because Lowery sings ”Our best days have come / Our best days are gone / It’s already hard / Let’s not make it harder”. If Greenland is the final album for Cracker, then they ended a great career with a magnificent album that does not try to be hipper than thou.


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