Monday, February 14, 2011

Charlie Louvin "The Battle Rages On"

( Let me preface this review by first saying we have lost one of the true greats with Louvin's passing, and also that I wrote this before he moved on to great beyond, so my opinions were colored more by his pre-death immortality than his post-death immortality. What is absolutely perfect and magical about this theme album of songs about soldiers and war is that it does not fall into the Johnny Cash "American Songs"/Jack White revives the greats/moderned-up old legend genre. This is a genuine old time record, a collection of patriotic, sentimental, sometimes corny, always sincere, often maudlin, never hip, perfectly real tunes of dead young men, evil foreign villains, sad widows, Red, White & Blue, bravery, fear, and unwavering love of country. "Dear God keep America free" is a lyric that will never again be sung with the sincerity of Louvin's fragile, beautiful voice. Rage on forever Mr, Louvin!

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