[Album Review] C.R. Avery- All The Angels Didn't Scare Me
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Release Date:  September 30th, 2016
Label: Independent

In a very good way, comparisons abound here to Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams. C.R. Avery has similar country leanings, although by his own admission he grew up in a hip-hop/r&b obsessed world. That provides him with a critical ear to anything that smacks of modern Nashville phoniness. Yeah, this is alt country, and Avery has a few tricks up his sleeve that maybe even Adams himself never thought of.

Heartfelt americana flows freely through such songs as “Insufficient Funds of Love”, a dark suburban tale that evokes John Mellencamp, as well as a touch of Nick Cave. Songs like “Promiscuous Women” may come close to contemporary country, but a strong melody and some glitter-rock dirty guitar keep it well clear of the Walmart discount bin. Avery ballads are lovely, coming across very much like Adams, or occasionally Tom Waits (see “Either the Wallpaper Goes or I Do”).

Avery indulges in a couple of true pastiches in the Johnny Cash-style faux rockabilly “Hollywood Movie Blues” and the country/gospel (near accapella) “Calgary Hotel Room”. But he truly hits a distinctive note with “Troubled Youth”, a song that talks about his background and incorporates a variety of influences (rocking Bob Dylan, Beatles’ strings, and even glam rock) in a triumphant indiosyncratic statement.