Release Date: Apr 21, 2009
Record label: Music Road
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Country, Folk
With a title like Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away, it’s pretty evident that Slaid Cleaves’s newest record isn’t the happiest thing you’ll listen to this month. In addition to the typical subject matter of heartbreak, despair, and dying dreams, Cleaves also tackles capital punishment, war, and lost idealism. Depressing, yes, but also beautiful.
It is odd that Slaid Cleaves has allowed a bad but wildly popular novelist like Stephen King to write the liner notes for his album Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away, since, as a songwriter, he far more closely resembles a good but much less popular short-story writer like Raymond Carver. Of course, when a famous person offers to write an appreciation of you, it's hard to refuse, at least from a marketing point of view. Unfortunately and inevitably, the notes are written in King's semi-literate style; at least they're enthusiastic.
The reason Slaid Cleaves takes a long time between releases – Wishbones, his last effort of self-penned tunes, came out in 2004 – is that he's very particular about what songs he shares with his audience. This concept coats the entirety of Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away .... In a time where most discs have a couple of good tracks and lots of fluff, Cleaves' latest breathes polish and soul for nearly every one of its 42 minutes.