Early 21st Century Blues
The Cowboy Junkies have always been a great cover band — able to completely recraft a song to its own image without losing the song’s original intent. Not since Trinity Session have Timmins and company dedicated a whole album to other people’s material. Early 21st Century Blues features songs of love, hope and imminent destruction from the likes of some of our finest songwriters. Mostly the band sticks to what it does best — slow-tempo, withdrawn and pensive interpretations — on tracks like U2’s “One” and Dylan’s “License to Kill.” The best is Lennon’s “I Don’t Want to Be A Soldier,” which features an unexpected funked-up groove and Rebel rapping mid-song overtop a whacked guitar solo. It is the most un-Junkies-like song, and the most effective.