Review: Maurice Tani/Jenn Courtney & 77 El Deora "The Crown & The Crow's Confession"

Finding the right cover art is never easy, and sometimes it just goes horribly wrong. Unfortunately, that's the case of Maurice Tani/Jenn Courtney & 77 El Deora "The Crown & The Crows Confession." There's too many visual elements, too much nudity, and, oh yeah, too many names (including a forward slash?). At first glance, the front cover appears to be a 90s remix CD or a repackaged foreign album. But the bad news ends there, because the music is superb. And, by the way, so are the beautiful photographs of the musicians inside the CD packaging that should have been utilized as cover art. However, it's the music that matters, and it's great.
The album begins with the terrific "I Just Dodged A Bullet, and Tani and Courtney have a uniquely wonderful musical chemistry that bursts out of the speakers and is pleasing on all levels. The retro-cool vocals couldn't help but bring a smile to even a person with the hardest of hearts. The bluesy "Push Me Away" showcases Jenn Courtney's sultry vocals to great effect. "Dancing With The Devil" has much of the same charm.

The best chance for a country radio chart hit on the album is the rockin' "Get Up!" which offers a unique blend of musical styles that mixes country and rock in equal measure. The biggest surprise of the project is the bluegrass-tinged "Fire On The Mountain," which also highlights hints of southern gospel flavor.

By far the best cut on the entire project is the sublime "County Fair," which offers an award-worthy performance of the Bruce Springsteen track from Tani and Courtney. Concertgoers will appreciate "The Outside To The In," which has a polished and hummable melody. The album ends on the perfect note with the instrumental cut "Cowboy," which showcases full-bodied musical mastery.

The  music of "The Crown & The Crow's Confession" is a triumph, even though the cover art is not. Indeed, this reviewer would not even care to criticize the cover art if the music was sub-par. In fact, there is a simple fix. Take out the front and back cover art and turn them both over to the pictures of Tani and Courtney. That way, you will have both musical...and visual bliss.

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