The Canadian foursome, Cowboy Junkies, laid down their sixth studio album, “Lay It Down.” They’ve managed to put out another melancholy but more insightful record. All members of the Timmons family participate. Margo does vocals, Michael plays the guitar and writes the lyrics, and Peter plays the drums. Alan Alton is the bass player.
Although nothing truly compares to the 1988 Lou Reed cover “Sweet Jane,” “Lay It Down” contains a few songs (“Lonely Sinking Feeling” and “Angel Mine”) that are the most comparable to Junkie history. Michael’s lyrics are mostly about loss or the feeling of slipping, whether it be of love or life. “John’s at my side/but he’s not noticing that I’m drowning,” from “Bea’s Song (River Song Trilogy: Part II),” and “Now I know/ what it means to be broken/to be bare/grief is a word to describe the absence of feeling,” from “Now I Know” are two obvious examples.
“Come Calling” is a typical “I’m drinking and waiting for you to come back” song. But with Margo’s mellow soprano vocals, backed with a bluesy undertone from the rest of the guys, the song is well done … twice. Track 5, “Come Calling (His Song)” is quicker and the better of the two. Track 12, “Come Calling (Her Song)” is slow, but is still well done.
“Hold onto Me” is a beautifully crafted song of having patience in a relationship, accompanied by a string arrangement. “Something More Besides You” is the opening track and best represents the record. “A Common Disaster,” the first and most likely only single according to Junkie history, is a hypnotic tune.
The Cowboys would be no Junkies without Margo’s raw emotional vocals, overall a hushed bluesy record of relationships. Each song is its own best seller