No. 16- This Side

Album: This Side

Artist: Nickel Creek

Year Released: 2002

I really got into this album...
Summer 2005

Favorite songs include...
“Green and Gray” 
“Hanging By A Thread” 

Why it’s so good... 
I've said it once and I'll say it again- Nickel Creek is easily one of the most talented groups in the last 10 years. Their debut album was a refreshing taste of modern bluegrass. But on their follow-up album, This Side, they really showed what they were able to do within and outside of bluegrass.

The album flows perfectly without getting boring or uninteresting- even for just a moment. Starting out with an energetic instrumental ("Smoothie Song") which showcases each member on their respective instrument playing better than most. You especially get a glimpse how incredibly talented Mr Chris Thile is on the mandolin. You may not have much interest in the instrument but you will once you hear how this guy uses it. I could only compare him to guitar legends like Van Halen and Jimmy Page.

The album is filled with impressive vocal work by each member- both as leads and simply supplying harmonies. Sara Watkins (vocals/violinist) really steps out on this album with attitude and power. She had some really gorgeous tunes on their first album but she went beyond that, doing songs that seem highly personal and cutting (just listen to "I Should've Known Better").

I don't mean to sound repetitive (have I said that before?) but this album really is an experience to listen to.
It has a defined quality to the music that is unique without being distracting.
It really is the perfect blend of bluegrass and pop music. Its the perfect first sampling of the genre.

1 comment:

  1. Have to agree about Thile. I've seen him live a few times with Punch Brothers (and with Michael Daves), and the man is just a genius both as a mandolin player and a songwriter. One of the two or three best musicians of the past decade.