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Utah Carol - Rodeo Queen Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9.25
Production 8.75
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9.75
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 93%
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Utah Carol - Rodeo Queen

Reviewed by: Russ Hockenbury (03/18/07)
Utah CarolRodeo Queen
Label: Stomping Ground
Release Date: May 15, 2007


In a world with MySpace and countless self-proclaimed music moguls blogging about who’s up and coming, on the horizon, or about to break, there’s little to no room for discovery. The romantic notion of the A&R guy from X label strolling into a rundown little club and signing the next Panic! or Fall Out Boy or Sufjan Stevens is all but dead. More often than not, if you’re a "good" band in today’s music scene more than a few people know your name.

Utah Carol’s MySpace profile had been viewed 1217 times as of noon on the 18th of March, 2007. Compare that number to a band with considerable more buzz and not too dissimilar a sound, Headlights. Their fellow Illini, they currently register over 70,000 views. I won’t even bring in the Sufjan number. It’s obscene by comparison, though I don’t suspect that Jinja Davis and Grant Birkenbeuel care too much. They’ve been working together in the Chicago music scene since 1995 and haven’t yet “broke” to anyone outside of a select few. It’s a safe bet however that after the word gets out on the husband/wife duo’s third full-length, Rodeo Queen, Utah Carol won’t be a secret anymore.

On Rodeo Queen, the two (with a little help from their friends) whip through a handful of sleepy folk-pop with a grace and beauty familiar to bands under the Polyvinyl or Saddle Creek imprint. The album’s opener “Kimberly Smiles” features a steady percussive beat, that sounds as if it were produced by those rhythm sticks you learned to play in elementary school, over a soft slinky melody. “Come Back Baby” is a wistful and sour lovespun chug of Americana, underscored perfectly by the Maria Taylor-esque voice of Davis and the hushed harmonies of her husband. Other highlights include the remorseful ballad “I’m Sorry Maria” and the hip-hop influenced instrumental, “In The Lake”. It may be only March, but I'll wager Rodeo Queen will surely make more than a few critics’ lists come December.


Love is wrong: “Come Back Baby”, “I’m Sorry Maria”

Who are three bands that have never been in my kitchen?: Azure Ray, Yo La Tengo, Andrew Bird




www.myspace.com/utahcarol
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8.
03:57 PM on 03/18/07
#2
Russ Hockenbury
www.youtube.com/goodcomputerkids
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Is the song "Silver Space Rocket" from Utah Carol's new disc? That's my personal fave.

Nope, but "Come Back Baby" and "Rodeo Queen" are both on the new one.
05:06 PM on 03/18/07
#3
jdgtrplyr
that'll do
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Thanks for reviewing such a great band :) They deserve the exposure, and hopefully this album will allow that.
07:29 PM on 03/18/07
#4
tm decomposer
KEMBA WALKER 4 PREZ!!
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I really enjoy this release
12:47 AM on 03/19/07
#5
Blake Solomon
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200 more myspace views since you reviewed this. Its a start. I like what I hear.
08:21 AM on 03/19/07
#6
tbsunday14
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i like it!
02:58 PM on 03/20/07
#7
AshesAshes
.....
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Do they have any relation to Utah
06:59 PM on 03/21/07
#8
Russ Hockenbury
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Do they have any relation to Utah

Nope
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