If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Being a humungous Beatles fan, I don't use the term 'Beatlesque' lightly when describing modern music, but if there is an album that has appeared in the last five years for which that term applies it is the Nields' latest. The Nields have always been influenced strongly by the Beatles, unabashedly covering Lovely Rita on the EMI/Guardian reissue of their CD Gotta Get Over Greta. On their latest album, they explode from their folk-rock roots to a fully-produced studio creation. This album is the Nields' Sgt. Pepper: experimenting with new sounds and pushing themselves to a higher level of musical creativity that can only be fully replicated in the studio.
Jeremy Newborn Street is a wonderful homage to Penny Lane with instrumental bridge and sunny vocals. Likewise, the horns on May Day Cafe also hearkens back to songs from the Magical Mystery Tour. Forever, David Nields' first lead-vocal since the haunting Boys Will Be Boys on 1994's breakthrough album Bob on the Ceiling," provides that same eerie feeling as Tomorrow Never Knows. The Nields sisters Katryna and Nerissa blend their voices with a string arrangement on Maybe It's Love. Tears well in my eyes during the orchestral One Hundred Names.
Nevertheless, despite all this musical growth, the Nields still know whence they came. This Town is Wrong and Jack the Giant Killer are fun-loving acoustic-rock tracks that remain faithful to the spirit of Bob on the Ceiling. Keys to the Kingdom is a modern gospel song that I promise will have atheists up and dancing. Even included is a wonderful harmony-laden Hank Williams cover (I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry).
Many honorary Nields help the big sound of If You Lived Here, including Susan Werner on piano (One Hundred Names), Dar Williams (vocals), the Kennedys (vocals and guitar), Ben Demerath, Moxy Fruvous, Jump Little Children, and Gideon Freudmann. And the honorary Nields are aptly rewarded with the reaffirming anthemic tribute and album-closer I Still Believe in My Friends (think Hey Jude). If there is a chance that you're willing to listen to any new music this year, this is the album you should not pass up!
Edited by David N. Pyles