Alison Krauss & Union Station | Paper Airplane

Krauss pilots her delicate Paper Airplane through familiar territory and into some darker spaces

Alison is back with Union Station and Robert Plant is thankfully Gone, Gone, Gone (sorry but every time I hear that song I want to tear my hair out). Comprising of both originals and covers by Jackson Browne, Peter Rowan and Richard Thompson Paper Airplane is… not bad.

Here’s my breakdown: It opens with an acoustic twang reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman, with a song was co-written by Viktor Krauss (Alison’s brother and, someone who I am now interested in knowing more about). Sinking Stone is written in a lovely and unusual key (I am not well-versed in my keys, but I perceive it to be more interesting to the ear). Though not made-for-radio, I feel partial to the third track Lie Awake — a darker song — Krauss sings like an angel despite the topic of how she can’t move on from a past love and is now suffering from sleep deprivation (her and I should have a cup of tea sometime).

Lay My Burden Down is another favourite and has a familiar tone to AKUS’ last effort, one of my favourite albums of all time. While the Richard Thompson-penned Dimming of the Day is a well-known song covered by everyone from The Corrs to Bonnie Rait, I admit to disliking it and I skip over that track EVERY time (I find it painfully slow). Miles to Go is upbeat and fun and makes me want to learn the dobro. By the way I have noticed only recently the “featuring Jerry Douglas” title that AKUS seems to be bestowing upon their beloved dobro player, I must agree he deserves special recognition as well.

It’s been SEVEN years since Krauss and company released Lonely Runs Both Ways (their 12th and last “original” release) and I am thrilled they are back. In case you didn’t know, Alison and the band do NOT write do their own songs, and you know what, I don’t even mind. Krauss sings like an angel and though I haven’t yet heard The Dan Tyminski Band (formed while Krauss was off planting her Grammy seeds) you can be sure I will be off to Fred’s Records tomorrow to pick it up as it is obvious he is a vocally gifted genius.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Raising Sand, but Lord help me if I see another video of Krauss dancing on a treadmill with disco balls in the background….

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