Hometowns – The Rural Alberta Advantage

I bought this based on a tweet from Sportscenter anchor John Buccigross. Not sure why I did this, other than it made me feel cool. And I’m happy I did, because it’s great stuff and has dominated my music listening for January and early Feb.

RAA (as they call themselves) is a three person (one woman, two men) band based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. However, their lyrics mostly talk about the province of Alberta, as you may have guessed. A few songs have Alberta city names in the title, like Frank, Lethbridge, and Edmonton. I would describe it as rock or alt-rock I guess. Dare I say, Indie rock, just don’t put me up there with Indie rock fans, I’m not nearly that cool.

It’s drums and guitars with some keyboards and some other stringed instrument occasionally. The lead is mostly male and he has a kind of twang in his voice. Hometowns was released in 2008. They have a new one that will be released in 2011. I’ll grab when it hits iTunes, for sure.

I’ve been singing In the Summertime, the last song on the album, in my head a lot lately. It’s a moderately paced love song ballad with some female vocals tossed in at the end. Drain the Blood is also great. It’s faster and the vocals are stronger. It seems to be about tortured love of some sort. I need to spend more time with the lyrics.

My favorite song is probably Edmonton. Not sure why. It’s the longest song on the album at 3:54, maybe that’s it. All the songs are short, nothing venturing over four minutes. Edmonton could be about leaving small town life for life in the big city. It starts out, best I can tell, with:

What’ll I do if you never want to come back
Sittin’ in a city that is always on the attack

Or it could actually be about leaving Edmonton for Toronto or someplace, and not about the small town/big town thing. I’ll have to listen to it about 600 more times to get it.

I may not have the tools for music critique. Oh well, I’ll keep at it. I can tell I like this album thought because I’ve listened to the whole album about eight times in three weeks. That’s a lot for me.