Album Review by Mark Bayross
As its title and cover artwork suggests, Alabama 3’s fifth album (following on from their acoustic versions album LAST TRAIN TO MASHVILLE) is a dedication to the outlaws of not just American folklore, but throughout British history, many of whom are unsung romantic heroes, fighting to bring justice for the common man.
After the brooding techno blues of their earlier albums, OUTLAW finds Alabama 3 in country mode, whether on the harmonica mash-up of HAVE YOU SEEN BRUCE RICHARD REYNOLDS (the Great Train Robber was the original inspiration for the album) or on single HELLO I’M JOHNNY CASH.
Bluegrass, gospel and the blues still resonate throughout the Alabama 3 sound, lending everything the sepia hue of the Old West, while the funny, occasionally baffling interplay between Larry Love’s preacherman vocals and D Wayne Love’s crazed streams of consciousness are present and correct.
Other standouts include the euphoric UP ABOVE MY HEAD, the hands-in-the-air techno of HOW CAN I PROTECT YOU and the closing GOSPEL TRAIN, shuffling along like Lay Lady Lay on moonshine. As with all their albums, this may take a couple of spins to win you over, but when it does you’ll keep coming back.
Still unique, and the country/techno/gospel/blues/rock collision still produces a mighty righteous bang.