Black Eyed Man

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February 21, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

The first two songs on Black Eyed Man are about people who’d rather stay in bed all day than get up, and up until now you couldn’t find a better analogy for the Cowboy Junkies. The Canadian band’s fourth album finds the group — known for its sleepy-time, New Age style of country-rock — actually picking up the tempo and injecting some tension into its otherwise relentlessly droopy music. For that reason alone, this is their best record. Yet even when they insert Neil Young-style guitar clank into ”Murder, Tonight, in the Trailer Park,” it’s only a matter of time before the campfire accordions and harmonicas enter and the band settles back into its torpor. The songs, mostly written by guitarist Michael Timmins and strewn with Americana 101 references (railroads, deserted post offices), are pleasant but shapeless, and Timmins’ sister Margo still sings as if she had swallowed a bottle of sedatives. C

Black Eyed Man

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Black Eyed Man

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