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CD REVIEW: Luke Doucet - Broken (and other rogue states)
By Francesco Emmanuel - 09/16/2005 - 12:17 AM EDT

Artist: Luke Doucet
Album: Broken (and other rogue states)
CD Review: Broken (and other rogue states) is Luke Doucet’s sixth album to date (his previous works include three albums with his band, Veal, a solo debut effort, and a live record).
His voice is soft and reminiscent of a blues/folk singer in a small-town bar, backed by a band of seasoned musicians who play with their eyes closed. He’s a singer and songwriter, who writes songs about cigarettes, alcohol (at least four songs here mention liquor or the use of it) and lost love affairs. He sings it with such dry frankness that you just get the feeling, that maybe he’s lived through every lyric in his material.

His songs have a familiar dreamy sort-of country, laid-back feel to them. His style comes across like a nice choir boy singing about his misfortunes. However, the choir boy is unusually happy and content about it. There’s a certain easy-going theme throughout the album, no harsh tones on the ears here, it’s one of those albums you can crank it up, and still it won’t be too loud. Songs like ‘ No Love to be made here now’ feel like a waltz, whereas ‘Brother’ is an eclectic folk tune, and ‘Emily, please’ just emanates the sixties with that big vibrato effect on the guitar.

Luke plays acoustic and electric guitar, as well as banjo and pedal steel guitars on the album. He also does a little stint on the piano and percussion on ‘Keep her away from me’ - a jiving blues number. The list of additional musicians who grace his work here is endless, they include a number of horn and wind players. They add a symphonic texture throughout 'Broken'.

His voice reminds me a little bit of a cross between Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins and Tom Petty. It is a rather well produced album with a variety of styles portrayed here (from straight forward country, folk and even a ballroom waltz song right up to some good old-fashioned roadhouse blues). It is not music for every occasion, nor is it music for everybody, but this is an album anyone can enjoy.

With Broken (and other rogue states), Luke has showcased his endless songwriting talent to the music world.

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