A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Undercover: The Day Of The Dead The Hi-Lo Food Show
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features TV Club Great Job, Internet!
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Giant Sand: Blurry Blue Mountain

B-

Giant Sand

Album: Blurry Blue Mountain
Label: Fire Records

Community Grade

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F
?

Your Grade

?

For Blurry Blue Mountain, his 17th long-player leading the revolving crew that has fallen under the Giant Sand moniker for the last 25 years, Howe Gelb casts a wise eye back on an influential career firmly and happily situated outside the mainstream. “They’ve been killing off all my heroes since I was 17,” he sings on the opener and highlight, “Fields Of Green.” The Tucson-based avant-folkie tells tales, offers advice, and causes a little ruckus throughout the record, evoking the likes of M. Ward, Todd Snider, and Bill Callahan—younger songwriters who descend from Gelb, directly or indirectly. Blurry Blue Mountain is a cozy, enjoyable listen—though perhaps a little too long—and Gelb comes off like a cool uncle, happy to nod sagely while we sit around and listen to his stories. He’s a Southwestern Tom Waits without the junkyard sounds and eccentricities, a man who’s paid his dues and seems happy to offer some advice to those who have gathered around over the past couple of decades. “Now I amble over 50,” he sings later on the aforementioned first track. “I’m approached by those in need of reminder / confusing me with pathfinder / I tell them with a crinkled smile and a smoldering spark-eyed glisten / to be quiet for just a while and give your own heart a good listen.”