Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s Songs for the Turntable is the fourth and final EP in the series that began with Songs from the Laundromat in 2012. This one features five fresh tunes excellently produced in Nashville and Memphis by Paul Ebersold.
As with the former EPs, the venerable southern group prove that they can make any style sound like a Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ original. This EP features a mellower folk rock sound with philosophical lyrics, except for the final song, “Jesus Christ!,” a heavy rock song with lyrics that aren’t about the religious message Jesus taught but about how people distort his words and image for their own purposes.
The first track, “Strangers,” is typical Kevin Kinney, with lyrical lines about trying to reconnect unsuccessfully with an old friend:or girlfriend: “With friends like you/Who needs strangers.” The vocals also show a strong Tom Petty influence.
“Turn” is a philosophical tune about getting older and being alright with that. Do you quit? No! You turn your back on the past and look to the future.
“Roll Away the Song” continues both the folk rock vibe and the theme of letting go of the past and embracing the future. These are songs that fit Kinney and the band at the stage they are at now and which would not have suited them in their earlier days as a band.
“Love Is the World” immediately harkens back to the days of peace and love when music was expected to present this sort of cosmic message and convert people to the cause of universal brotherhood. It’s a mellow tune with an unusually positive message for this band.
As mentioned before, “Jesus Christ!” ends the EP, and does so with a strong message about hypocrisy.
The experiment with releasing EPs frequently and rather than recording full-length CDs that are spaced further apart (in terms of release schedule) has been a successful one for the fans and it has allowed Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ to explore their many influences in an entertaining manner. Songs for the Turntable is highly recommended. It will be very interesting to see what the group chooses to do next.