Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil (4 stars)

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Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil

(Chemikal Underground)

This is an album to warm the heart for many reasons, not least because its composer once seemed to have dropped out of music and life itself thanks to bouts of severe schizophrenia and lengthy incarceration periods in mental hospitals. Roky Erickson, sometime singer with The 13th Floor Elevators, was a quiet tragedy to compare with Syd Barrett.

Teaming with Austin’s Okkervil River as his backing band, he’s created here a rather lovely alternative country album that’s more sober and pastoral (barring the ragged, noisy ‘John Lawman’) than his previous work. The consistent quality of the music aside, though, it’s the tender, concise insights into Erickson’s psyche that really affect: the desperate pleading of ‘Please, Judge’, the sad nostalgia of the title track and ‘Ain’t Blues Too Sad’.

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