Mick Turner / Tren Brothers Blue Trees

Mick Turner’s merits cannot really be called into question — he’s done some great work in the past (as part of Dirty Three, with Jim White under the Tren Brothers moniker and as a guitarist/collaborator for hire) and his sad, sparse guitar sound is distinctively his. Blue Trees, a collection of singles and rarities, is cut from a good cloth but there’s nothing on it that you wouldn’t find done better on one of his bona fide albums. There’s only so much you can hear of one song, no matter how good/pretty/tragic it is, and the collection becomes tedious fairly quickly without the shifting dynamics and overall cohesion that make much of his stuff so great. For collectors interested regardless of what anyone says, there’s no outright garbage, but a casual admirer looking to be challenged should take a pass. While Dirty Three albums stand the test of years, it took about 15 minutes before I absentmindedly reached over to switch this CD. When I remembered that I had to see it through to the end, I was kind of disappointed. (Drag City)