Caroline Says - 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2017-08-04

Caroline Says’ new album 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong has the feel of a Brautigan novel.  Richard Brautigan was a laid-back, beat poet, fiction writer whose most famous work was the multi-million selling Trout Fishing in America, which if you had read it, was not about trout fishing in America at all.  It was 60’s hipster literature that had all these beautiful images cast about in the novel like stone, and paper flowers strewn here and there, and streaked with colors every now and then.  This album is like that novel, and has nothing to do with Elvis.

I’m not a huge lo-fi fan, but then again, when something comes along as beautifully rendered as Caroline Says, I become a huge fan.  This is not just a good album; it’s the best lo-fi album of the year.  It is also simply one of the best alternative albums of the year.  Each song is low-key and sparkles quietly. Some are more remarkable than others here, but as a whole; the album takes you strolling quietly through twenty-nine minutes and nine songs of Brautigan-esque beauty.

Richard Brautigan was born and raised in Eugene, Washington, and several songs here are about the Pacific Northwest.  He is my favorite writer of all time, so I don’t make the comparison lightly.  Understated poetic brilliance is what makes his prose special, and the same can be said for Caroline Says.

Caroline Says is not only the title of a Lou Reed song but also the first name of Caroline Sallee, who composed this exquisite lo-fi masterpiece. What is remarkable about this album is how well Caroline mixes up all sorts of musical directions and instruments to flesh out her songs.  There are breathy drums on one song, soothing, fingerpicking guitars on another, and fresh and jangly progressions throughout.  Yet they all leave impressions like ghost tracks on a train ambling through the Pacific Northwest while smoking a little of the wander weed.   

Whatever Caroline decides to say, I’ll listen.  Even at the tender age of 22, with such songs as “Winter is Cold” and “Streetlights,” she has established herself as an exceptional songwriter.  There isn't a weak track here, actually.  We should all look forward to seeing her in concert and her next album.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars
  • James Gerard

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Checked this out based on your recommendation and I must say I was pleasantly surprised...great write-up!