Monday, January 27, 2014

Nudie: “Remember This” (2013) CD Review

Nudie’s first solo release, Remember This, is an album full of great country songs – some acoustic, some electric. Matt Putnam took on the name Nudie when he formed the band Nudie And The Turks in 2005. (By the way, that band also features Gordie MacKeeman, who recently released Pickin’ ‘N’ Clickin’). Nudie And The Turks released two CDs, and now Nudie has released his first solo effort. Some seriously good lyrics help make this one of the best country albums I’ve heard in the last several years. These are songs of cheating and lost loves and yearnings and regrets and promises. Yet this record is no downer. It’s actually a lot of fun.

Remember This opens with a wonderful acoustic folk-country tune titled “If A Heart Could Tell.” There is a sweet sadness in Nudie’s vocal delivery. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “’Cause if we merely played it safe/We could tell it what to do/Then a heart would be a stone/There’d be no more me and you/I guess it’s lucky for me that a heart can’t tell.” There is something so delightful in this song. Part of it is the presence of Molly Rankin on backing vocals.

“If A Heart Could Tell” is followed by an electric country rock tune, “Sex Kisses.” It has a good beat and kind of a fun vibe. “I’m using her, she’s using me, and everybody knows it/She tells me she loves me when I know she doesn’t mean it/Our union was a simple case of lust and convenience.”

“Remember This,” the album’s title track, is an interesting love song. It begins at the best moment in the relationship, with the narrator looking forward to when things won’t be as good and asking her to remember this moment. “Remember me – I’ll never be this good again.” It is an interesting perspective, because of course the overall viewpoint is one that is able to look back at this moment of looking forward. Then the song moves forward to when things aren’t that good, with these lines: “I lost my way/That day that I begged you to stay/And you did too/You said I do/And walked right down the aisle in an attempt to make believe that it was true.” Excellent, right? Of course, the vibe is one of sadness and acceptance. It’s a seriously good song.

“My Sweet Ache” has more of a pop vibe, and I dig the keys on that track. And then “You Try To Be Right” has a more typical country feel. It’s about a cheating woman, with lines like, “I get scared, I get nervous when you call me the wrong name/I quickly realize the name is the same/As the one that you cried out in our bed last night/I hope that I’m wrong/I got a feeling I’m right.” I love this line: “But if the money ran out, I feel that so would you.”

Nudie begins “Fiona” by singing the title character’s name a cappella. There is such a great yearning in the tone of this one, a longing in his voice. “Fiona, you’ve got a right to be mad/I gave a bit of my time/And you gave me all that you had/I spend most nights walking these streets all alone/Repeating things I wish I’d said.” He expresses hopes and promises toward the end, but also admits, “But things that I say and the things that I do are never quite one and the same.” So he’s resigned to this longing, making this song absolutely gorgeous, sad, and wonderful. What began with him repeating her name ends with him saying “It still hurts when I hear your name.” Could it be he likes punishing himself? I completely love this song. It is my favorite on this CD, and one of my favorite songs of the last couple of years.

Another of my favorites is “Pawn Shop,” which begins with the line, “This guitar, it sounds a little bit better every time it comes back from the pawn shop on Church Street.” I like the subtle humor of this one, heard in lines like, “When I am a little bit light/And I want to get tight/The woman I’m spending my nights with informs me/She wants to go away/Someday.” It also has a sweet tone, and features some nice work on guitar. It ends with a little joke about another item of his that is also at the pawn shop.

Remember This concludes with “I Miss The Love (But I Never Miss You).” This tune has a catchy, fun vibe. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “I walked away from you/You were bringing me down, making me blue/You want to know what I’ve been thinking?/I’m going to give you a clue/Sometimes I miss the love, but I never miss you.” Pretty great, right? It’s a strong track to end the album. I totally dig it.

CD Track List

  1. If A Heart Could Tell
  2. Sex Kisses
  3. Remember This
  4. My Sweet Ache
  5. You Try To Be Right
  6. Fiona
  7. Walking The Streets
  8. Why Do We Keeping Hanging On?
  9. Pawn Shop
  10. The Pain In You
  11. I’m Tired Of Living With No Fun
  12. I Miss The Love (But I Never Miss You)

Remember This was released on December 10, 2013.

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