Emil Friis - The Road to Nashville - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Emil Friis - The Road to Nashville

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6.5 Release Date:2010-05-31

When you hear songs about mines making slaves of men, winding roads to Nashville and "going down to the water" it's usually safe to assume you're in for some southern American folk, country or just plain rock 'n' roll. However, this 10 track album from Emil Friis (his third record) is something of a coyote - a trickster if you will - because Emil and his boys are actually Danish.

The Road to Nashville is full an album of hearty American sounds, whether it's the plodding of 'Rolling Seas' or the stern marching of the title track. Mexican trumpets make stirring cameos and the harmonic picking of guitars, both electric and acoustic, help to create an engaging atmosphere. If Emil had a name like 'Johnny Eagle' you wouldn't think twice, and for the most part it could be argued the songs are a kind of Nordic country rock, but titling the album with the name of an American city makes everything sit a little oddly throughout.

That said, the musicianship is perfectly crafted and Emil's warbling tales bring out something of a middle aged Dylan sound in the songs. The influence of American music is heavy and as a loving tribute to those records he once pored over it works. Sadly the last few songs on the album see it all fizzle out as 'Lions' and 'These Two Hands' seem lacking in heart and leave you begging to go back to the start where, even though it wasn't totally original, there was something to nod along to.

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