The Trouble with Humans

by: Chip Taylor/Carrie Rodriguez

Making music is an unpredictable business. Songwriter Chip Taylor and singer Carrie Rodriguez liked the way their voices sounded together, so they decided to record Let's Leave This Town together in 2002. While the album wasn't bad, it failed to convey that magic ingredient that takes the music to the next level. The Trouble With Humans is a much more natural effort, with a lovely bare-bones production and relaxed performances by the duo. As a matter of fact, The Trouble With Humans sounds a lot like a demo that couldn't be improved on. On the title track and "I Need a Wall," both singers take things real slow, softly holding forth to the sounds of an acoustic guitar, quiet drum kit, and lonesome steel. Rodriguez's vocals are much more impressive here than on the duo's debut. Her off the cuff downhearted woman gasp hits the listener deep in the gut on "Dirty Little Texas Story," and reminds one of Lucinda Williams. Taylor's lyrics are sex-obsessed here as always, but they nonetheless sound right when he and Rodriguez harmonize together, as though the words somehow derive from their life experiences. "We Come Up Shining" is the bonus track and serves as a pleasing closer to a finely crafted album. The Trouble With Humans will convince anyone who wasn't quite sure about Let's Leave This Town to give Rodriguez and Taylor another listen. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.

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