There's a kind of tragic poetry inherent in a once-vanguard artist's struggle to remain relevant, and One Soul Now expresses it. On their new CD, the Cowboy Junkies rely a bit too heavily on their old tricks to distinguish themselves from the generation of honey-voiced alt-country acts (Neko Case, Amelia, even Norah Jones) that they've inspired. Margo Timmins' vocals predictably slink through the appropriately dark, slow "Why This One," and "Star of Our Stars" adds a bit of the innocuous upbeat rock the Junkies have long liked to throw into their sleepy groove to keep us guessing. But while the album proves that the Cowboy Junkies know the formula they helped to create backwards and forwards, it doesn't make a case for whether or not they can do anything new with it.
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