I Own This Town

Terry Kitchen

A Review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark Horn

You won't find anything unusual in this album except a clear, honest view of life, which on second thought maybe very unusual. Some female singer/songwriters take this approach to near catharsis, but seldom do men open up so completely. The result is an album that speaks to both sexes, enlightening or validating the listener's own experience.

"I Own This Town" is not merely the title cut, but the anthem of a wonderful theme album. In "Letter On A Train," Kitchen spins a web of forlorn love by a young townie for the girl that left his world and alas, his life. These first cuts are followed by a collection of stories and insights, familiar to generations of young men standing at the door of adulthood. Looking back over his shoulder at adolescence, Terry gives voice to the rite of passage that each young man must make to become an adult.

Several songs on I Own This Town move beyond the life of the individual. The first of these, "Christmas Is Homeless," is an indictment of our ability to ignore the appalling pain and suffering of the rejected legions called homeless. In the small act of one of our victims, Kitchen aptly reminds us of our failures. The other social song, "Afraid Of The Dark" is more global in its message. Drawing on images of ancient human experience, Terry reminds us of our place that community.

The musicianship and production on I Own This Town stay well out of the way of the artist. There are few instrumental leads and the background vocals remain far in background. The engineering and production are clean and thoughtful.

I Own This Town is well worth making your own. Its ability to take experience so common as to be cliché and give it such clear voice, makes this album a quiet achievement for a gender not given to such simple eloquence.

For more information write:
urban campfire,
188 Summer St.,
Watertown, MA 02172,
e-mail: maxp@rounder.com.

This review is copyrighted by Great Desert Northwest Music, 1995.
It may be reproduced with prior permission and attribution.

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