No Other Love
Chuck Prophet is a real find, an innovative genre-fusing talent with a wry sense of humor and fearless approach to musical alchemy (especially in mixing alt-country and hip-hop—whoa). His new album, No Other Love, is even better than 2000's The Hurting Business. I strongly recommend both. I hope his indefinable sound doesn't relegate him to the radio wastelands. He deserves exposure and recognition.
You can hear the strain of triumph ringing in every line, note and breath. Monster stuff!!
Passionately ramshackle weavings on suburbia, lost love, life and death and the great beyond. Blistered Tele strangling amidst wah wah noodlings...like a man with a capo on his heart
All Music Guide
With Homemade Blood, guitarist and singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet created one of his finest achievements. The songs were inspired by a series of semi-autobiographical stories of growing up in suburbia only to enroll in the school of hard knocks and come out a fighter; it's simultaneously cynical and reverent. The band that backs Prophet's fiery guitar work is a roots rock unit tightened up from ceaseless European touring, and this live-in-the-studio recording suits their take-no-prisoners delivery. This record ought to bring Prophet some well-deserved kudos.
POP CD OF THE WEEK
During the eighties, Green On Red flew the American renegade-rocker flag with shamboloic aplomb. Everybody assumed singer/ songwriter Dan Stuart was the presiding genius, though the band increasingly became a Dan Stuart/Chuck Prophet double act as the combo rattled toward it end. It wouldn't do to underestimate Stuart's gifts. But Prophet proved to be a late developer who may just be reaching his peak. He has spent the nineties loaboriously nailing together a fresh persona as a guitar for hire and a solo performer capable of wringing surprises from some well-used musical traditions.
Homemade Blood is his fourth solo effort, and if it doesn't exactly represent a comprehensive overturning of 25 years of rock, soul and country history, at least it slams the whole lot back together with a happy mix of urgent songwriting and rude, noisy playing from Prophet's estimable band. As long ago as the 1993 album Balinese Dancer, reckless hacks were contriving comparisons with Gram Parsons and Richard Thompson. If you listen closely - or at all - Prophet doesn't sound like either of them. You'd get better odds for allusions to Bobby Fuller and the Stooges. The opening track, "Credit," plausibly establishes Prophet as the vocalist that Tom Petty might once have been if Jimmy Lovine hadn't drowned his records in 50 fathoms of audio varnish. Chuck's wheedling moan is perfect for lyrics ike "just last week a little card came in the mail, it was gold and thin as Kate Moss" (followed by sarcastic guitar wolf -whistle). Prophet raunches out again on the likes of "Til You Came Along," with its speedy rhythm guitar scrub and hectic crescendos, or the blown-gasket blast of "22 Fillmore," but he gets more interesting when he slackens off the throttle, in "KMart Family Portrait," Prophet backdropsd his vocals against wraith-like percussion and thin, shivery guitar. "You Been Gone" is an affecting look at missing persons and changed places, while Prophet concludes with the ghostly moan of "The Parting Song." Fine stuff indeed.
Oh, what a fine but probably realistically impossible thing it would be to see Chuck Prophet get away with it. As guitarist with Green On Red, Prophet devoted most of the Eighties to producing savage, diseased, rock'n'roll records that felt as sickly and gratifying as a good hangover, reaching a queasy apotheosis with the classic "Here Come The Snakes", which you should have bought yesterday.
"Feast Of Hearts" isn't quite the squalid Bukowski-with-a-Telecaster excesses of bygone days, but finds Prophet maturing with some poise and a just sufficiently arched eyebrow. Musically there's nothing here that people who willingly spend money on Tom Petty records would find difficult, but Prophet still knows his way around a couplet of tequila philosophy. The current favourite is, "I've got a wolf at the door/And a dog in the pound" from "Hungry Town", except when it's "The days crawl by single file/She made the river in my heart flow/Then she crossed it alone" from "How Many Angels". Prophet sings all these like the missing link between Bob Dylan and Paul Westerberg, which is only reasonable, as that's what he is.
The idea of this wilful delinquent kidnapping Garth Brooks' demographic at this point is, as we have learned, just too poetic to be likely, but there's no reason why he shouldn't be clasped to the wheezing hearts of those of you who've learnt to love Neil Young, Chris Whitley or Matthew Sweet. A minor triumph.
the best of this whole wracked-out, country-rock genre since Gram Parsons—and that's no hyperbole.