T-Bone Burnett – The Criminal Under My Own Hat

T-bone Criminals

Artist: T-Bone Burnett
Title: The Criminal Under My Own Hat
Released: 1992
Label: Columbia/Sony
Format: CD
Musicians: T-Bone Burnett – guitar, Ron Huskey Jr. – slap bass, Marc Ribot – guitar, Jerry Scheff – bass, Jim Keltner – drums, Dean Parks – slide guitar, David Jackson – bowed bass, Jerry Douglass – Dubro, Edgar Meyer – bass, Mark O’Connor – violin, Andrea Zonn – Viola, Van Dyke Parks – piano
Producer: T-Bone Burnett, Bob Neuwirth
Engineer: Joe Schiff, Tchad Blake & John Hanlon
Mastering Engineer: Stephen Marcussen

T-Bone Burnett is not only a musician and masterful songwriter, but a well-known and regarded master producer.
This is the latest LP I have from him. I’m pretty sure this is also available on vinyl, but for me it is not worth the price to me even though I prefer his stuff on vinyl and the rest of what I have is on vinyl. I’ll review those later.

Here’s my break-down of this LP:
1. Over You – Good acoustic song with nice bass extension on the bridges. This song is about ending long relationships.
2. Tear This Building Down – Not sure what this song is about, but it is typical T-Bone style. Bass is somewhat muddy on this track, but that may have been intentional. Percussion work is good.
3. It’s Not Too Late – This has an end of time theme to it. It could also be about redemption. It is one of T-Bones more avant-garde songs he’s been known to do here and there. The lyrics are good,but the style is just not my thing.
4. Humans From Earth – Typical T-Bone style again and this is a more rockin tune. This song seems to be about humans colonizing another planet, but I think it’s a metaphor about either greed and desire to control everything or U.S. exceptionalism.
5. Primitives – Another acoustic number, this is kind of a dark tune and I am not clear as to what it’s about.
6. Criminals – There is an emphasis on percussion in this song, good lyrics as usual. I’m not sure if he is talking about someone in particular, himself or more likely about us as humans and our minds and how we always have the potential to be criminal-minded, but make choices all the time whether to follow that folly or not.
7. Every Little Thing – Another acoustic number, it’s an apology song,but I’m not sure if it’s a personal apology or not. Great dubro work in this one by Jerry Douglas
8. I Can Explain Everything – Great lyrics, but strange style, at least it’s short (under 2 minutes). This seems to be about the media.
9. Any Time At All – Another typical T-Bone Burnett song with the expected great lyrics. It’s an acoustic number with just guitar, dubro and bass. It’s a good track. Seems to be about romantic relations.
10. I Can Explain Everything (Reprise) – This is basically track #8 rocked up a bit. However, the way he sings it is still annoying. I don’t know why he did this in this manner with splitting the song up. Lyrically brilliant though.
11. The Long Time Now – This is the most boring song on the album. Seems to be about faith.
12. Kill Switch – The last and acoustic track, on this track the upright bass is used with a bow. Again good lyrics, but I am not sure what the song is about, but it could be about blow back and greed.

Humans From Earth: https://youtu.be/3R90WGgG7sQ

Sound: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Music: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars