Public Domain: Songs From the Wild Land Image

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Former Blaster Dave Alvin offers an album of traditional American music (each song having passed into the public domain).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dave Alvin brings an authentic voice and extraordinary understanding to his chosen tracks.... This is the work of a scholar as well as a master craftsman.
  2. 90
    Often he sings with a richness, depth and conviction worthy of Johnny Cash. [Jan 2001, p.98]
  3. As always, Alvin's guitar work is wonderfully supple and emotive, and stands out as the centerpiece of his arrangements. But, even more gratifying, a decade after leaving the Blasters, in which his brother Phil handled the vocal duties, Alvin has finally found his voice as a singer.
  4. Alvin's approach acknowledges the haunting quality that traipsing through history can evince; Public Domain is like a photo album of ghosts, where the images are recognizable but occupying some other plane.
  5. He takes on the American songbook to stirring effect-often without relying on traditional arrangements.
  6. 80
    His music remains lively and contemporary even when he reworks traditional songs old enough to have their copyrights lapse into the public domain.
  7. It's not that these songs are all obvious or overdone--this nonfolkie had never heard a few of them. It's that they're so soft they squish even when Alvin tries to rev one past you, which usually he doesn't.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2