As the title references two complete opposites, the content of the album is similarly polarized.
One group of songs on the album are methodical songs built around the strength and depth of Rose's voice. Tracks like "There Is Darkness, There Is Light" and "Mirror" are slow, almost glacial numbers, which place the focus squarely on the vocals. The strongest of these is "Fresher Fruit", showcases the delicate beauty of that instrument.
It's the second type of song that really appeals to me. It's the toe-tapping hoedown ditty. The title track is worthy of the best bluegrass jamboree. The album closer, "So It Goes", is one of the best roots songs I've heard all year. It's a true banjo-plucking gem.
The record's opening cut, "Lost Like You", is the most experimental. It blends the banjo with Middle Eastern rhythms to astonishingly positive effects.
Personally, I can do without the slower numbers and just (roots) rock out on the banjo jams. But that's just my own stylistic preference.
Best tracks: "Lost Like You", "So It Goes"
Track listing for Northeast Southwest:
- Lost Like You
- Fresher Fruit
- There Is Darkness, There Is Light
- Northeast Southwest
- Darcy (D.)
- Your Light
- So It Goes