Why Should the Fire Die? is Nickel Creek's first album without Alison Krauss in the producer's chair, and on it, the trio's genre-expanding acoustic music has shifted even farther away from it's bluegrass origins. The opening 'When in Rome' perfectly encapsulates the aggressive approach the band favors, and features poetic lyrics far more obtuse than those of most groups with similar roots. The disc's first half stays rooted in a fairly conventional folk mode, with a lovely cover of Bob Dylan's 'Tomorrow Is a Long Time' (one of the few solo vocal turns from fiddler Sara Watkins) and 'Jealous of the Moon' (co written with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris). Sugar Hill. 2005.
Why Should the Fire Die? is Nickel Creek's first album without Alison Krauss in the producer's chair, and on it, the trio's genre-expanding acoustic music has shifted even farther away from it's bluegrass origins. The opening 'When in Rome' perfectly encapsulates the aggressive approach the band favors, and features poetic lyrics far more obtuse than those of most groups with similar roots. The disc's first half stays rooted in a fairly conventional folk mode, with a lovely cover of Bob Dylan's 'Tomorrow Is a Long Time' (one of the few solo vocal turns from fiddler Sara Watkins) and 'Jealous of the Moon' (co written with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris). Sugar Hill. 2005.
015891399027
Nickel Creek - Why Should The Fire Die?

Details

Format: CD
Label: SUH
Catalog: 3990
Rel. Date: 08/09/2005
UPC: 015891399027

Why Should The Fire Die?
Artist: Nickel Creek
Format: CD
New: Available $11.98
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Why Should the Fire Die? is Nickel Creek's first album without Alison Krauss in the producer's chair, and on it, the trio's genre-expanding acoustic music has shifted even farther away from it's bluegrass origins. The opening 'When in Rome' perfectly encapsulates the aggressive approach the band favors, and features poetic lyrics far more obtuse than those of most groups with similar roots. The disc's first half stays rooted in a fairly conventional folk mode, with a lovely cover of Bob Dylan's 'Tomorrow Is a Long Time' (one of the few solo vocal turns from fiddler Sara Watkins) and 'Jealous of the Moon' (co written with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris). Sugar Hill. 2005.

Reviews:

Like film adaptations of novels, bluegrass revivalism, AKA newgrass, only occasionally intersects with its forbears. Bluegrass fans are even more defensive than most audiences, and justly so-their music was, like most good ideas, born of poverty and depression, which renders contemporary cash-ins not only gauche, but sacrilegious. (Ralph Stanley gets a pass, of course, because he was back-in-the-day poor during Bluegrass Wave One, chomping coal for breakfast and perfuming with hog slop.) I also come from that world-my pops played the stuff, I was born in coal country and a banjo pluck will forever evoke home-but I like the revival, too. Old Crow Medicine Show, the Boggs (R.I.P.), and, to get to the point, Nickel Creek, get no guff from me.

Nickel Creek are two guys and a gal who look like elves, play hyper-pristine newgrass pop, and count Alison Krauss as a fan. (She produced their 2000 debut.) They're also Californians-strikes one, two, and three to many. Why Should the Fire Die?, their third album, is a well-conceived melding of Krauss and alt-rockers Incubus, as siblings Sara and Sean Watkins sing from the diaphragm and nasal cavity, respectively. The staccato title track, with its handclapped guitar strums and Sara's Kelly Clarkson'd choirgirl sneers, is the album's sole raver; the rest are sweetly performed melancholy paeans to love and loss, their middle-class safety net always comfortably intact. But just because Nickel Creek will be well fed even in drought hardly moots their pain: bluegrass' songs about poverty are newgrass' songs about a poverty of spirit, whether it stems from loneliness, love rebuked, or a Higher absence. And of that, Nickel Creek have plenty to say.

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