Poseidon and the Bitter Bug - Vanguard 2009
As usual, the girls share the song writing equally between them. Emily Saliers generally shows a very high level in her songwriting, which is also the case on this album. Saliers strength is the melodic ballads, often reminiscent of English Sandy Denny.
Amy Ray's songs perhaps span wider in genres, but are also generally more uneven in quality.
On "Poseidon and the Bitter Bug" Ray delivers some of the best she has written over time for the duo.
"Sugar Tongue" is a Latin-beat song with a great chorus, beautifully sung by Ray. A lot of Beatles inspiration both in melody and instrumentation. Definitely one of the highlights of the album.
Equally strong is the Dylan-inspired "Second Time Around" - a counterpart to Dylan's own "Fourth Time Around"? This is a song you just want to hear again and again.
Ray's "Driver Education" and "Ghost Of The Gang" is more for me to oblivion.
The closing track, which has been highlighted by other reviewers reminds me too much of Radiohead's "Creep". When you consider that Oasis were deprived of the rights to the excellent single "Whatever" it must be a formality for Radiohead to win any legal proceedings relating to "True Romantic"
All of Emily's songs are favorites for me, especially, however, "Digging For Your Dream," "I'll Change" and "Fleet of Hope".
The deluxe edition album contains acoustic versions of all songs. In most cases the difference is not significant, and I think I generally prefer the fully instrumentated versions.
The extra song "Salty South" is okay, but not a song you could not have done without.