Although they've never enjoyed a level
of recognition or popularity that can compete with the regard
held for them in their native Australia, You Am I have maintained
a work ethic and love of good ol' rock and roll that few
can equal. Especially since the release of 1996 's Hourly,
Daily, You Am I have added everything from strings to brass
to keyboards to a mix that ranges from heavy rock to power
pop to country-folk. Their success is based on keeping the
song first and foremost. The band has stories to tell, and
they know how to tell them.
And, yes, Deliverance maintains that high
Their second studio effort as a four-piece
finds the band making the most of a dual guitar attack on
tracks like the heavy "Who Put The Devil In You"
and the strut of "Nifty Lil Number Like You",
but don't look to the band to merely turn the amps ups throughout
Deliverance. There's a lot going on here, and thankfully
the arrangements don't have to compete with volume. The
end results include standouts like the delicate pop of "Ribbons
And Bows", the good-time feel of "One Trick Tony"
(which would be a huge hit in a just world), and "Nothing's
Ever Gone Be The Same Again" is as strong an anthem
as most any you'd care to name.
Tim Rogers continues to demonstrate his
knack for deliver fine acoustic ballads that manage to steer
wide of being predictable, or even just plain boring. We've
seen flashes of this on previous You Am I efforts and most
notably on his solo What Rhymes With Cars And Girls, but
they account for much of the unique qualities on Deliverance.
The delicate cello and piano on "City Lights"
perfectly complement his earnest vocal, for example. From
there, the closing "When You Know What You Want"
sounds almost like a reprise while "The Wrong Side
Now" is probably the most delicate thing the band has
ever done. The rhythm section of Russell Hopkinson and Andy
Kent continue to show an admirable ability to go from keeping
things simple to adding the appropriate crashes and booms
So Deliverance becomes a worthy addition
to You Am I's catalog of some of the finest rock and roll
out there. Consider that a tribute to the band's honesty
and appreciation for the fact that it isn't rock stars that
are supposed to be larger than life - it's the music itself
that should be.