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Cowboy Junkies: Black Eyed Man (RCA)

Richard C. Walls, Musician, March 1992

THE NAME Cowboy Junkies suggests an addiction to an attitude, and the nodded-out, muted quality of their music — everything, including the drums, Margo Timmins' paper-thin voice and the huge, hollow, ominous bass hum — is quietly obsessional. On their debut, that lost-in-the-cathedral production seemed to some (i.e., me) too much of a gimmick. With album number three, the signature sound has been compromised by the group's desire to be heard. Like R.E.M. when Michael Stipe stopped mumbling, they've stepped out of the shadows of alternative music-land. Somewhat.

Total word count of piece: 334

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