The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Recorded Music – North Mississippi Allstars

    Availability: Sept. 9
    The Verdict: The Allstars go out on a limb and try new things on “Polaris,” succeeding well.
    4/5 Stars
    With “Polaris,” the North Mississippi Allstars have proven they’re not afraid to try new things and succeeded in making quite a good album.
    For die-hard Allstars fans, “Polaris” might take a bit of getting used to – the album includes some firsts for Allstars albums, including some backup vocals from a certain member of Oasis and a full-out dirty-south rap from Cody Burnside. The group’s third album definitely has a new sound created from a mixture of “Shake Hands with Shorty,” “51 Phantom” and a lot of fresh ideas, but it’s a good sound. The Allstars move away from their traditional sound and mix, as guitarist Luther Dickinson said, “Mississippi Hill Country blues, psychedelic pop, gospel and everything else” to “nail down a whole new kind of southern rock.”
    One of the best additions to the album is the utilization of Duwayne Burnside’s vocals. Duwayne Burnside, son of blues great R.L. Burnside, adds something vital to the album.
    Duwayne Burnside adds a rough edge to the smoother vocals of Chew and Dickinson, especially on the tracks “Meet Me in the City” and “Bad Bad Pain.” Burnside was officially added to the Allstars in 2001 but his vocals have not been spotlighted on one of their albums until now.
    The album has a lot of catchy songs, namely “Eyes” and “Otay,” and also some more serious ones like “One to Grow On,” which really spotlights how much the Allstars’ songwriting has evolved since 51 Phantom.
    “One to Grow On” also features backup vocals from that certain member of Oasis, yes, Noel Gallagher. If you didn’t know Gallagher sang backup vocals on the song, you probably wouldn’t recognize him. That Gallagher contributed to the album, however, combined with two Grammy nominations for previous albums speaks for the increasing credibility the Allstars are gaining as serious musicians.
    The album is actually full of appearances by guest musicians, some new and some old.
    Probably the most interesting guest appearance is by Cody Burnside, who raps on the Allstars’ venture into hip-hop, “Be so Glad.” The song starts out with the cane fife, played by Mississippi blues icon Otha Turner, who died earlier this year, and leads into a distinctly hip-hop drum beat before diving into Burnside’s rap. The album finishes up with “Goin Home,” an instrumental taste of why die-hard fans flock to Allstars shows.
    Luther Dickinson and his brother Cody, the band’s very talented drummer, produced the album. Their Memphis music-great father Jim Dickinson produced their debut, “Shake hands With Shorty,”, but the brothers produced the last two.
    Overall, the album is very different and very good. It’ll probably become some fans’ new favorite Allstars album, while others might prefer the sound of one of their earlier CDs. The album proves, however, that the band is full of fresh ideas and always looking to improve. Luther Dickinson said the record is “the best stuff we’ve ever done,” and he might be right.
    2Reflector Newspaper2SORT™2STR
    o”

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Reflector

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Reflector

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Recorded Music – North Mississippi Allstars