Seven years have passed since Chris Hillman's last solo recording, 1998's Like a Hurricane. This gave him plenty of time to conjure The Other Side's 14 new recordings, even with four songs, including an elegant and filigreed version of the Byrds classic "Eight Miles High," being reworkings of previous efforts. One of the architects of country-rock through his membership in the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hillman (mandolin, guitar, lead vocals) here continues to blend folk, alt-country, bluegrass, and the roots of rock with the occasional surprise--particularly the guest appearance of Jennifer Warnes on a startlingly beautiful and despairing version of "The Water Is Wide." Throughout, old pal Herb Pedersen joins him on guitar, banjo, and backing vocals, and Sally van Meter contributes a haunting Dobro. Highlights include an anxiety-laden reprise of "It Doesn't Matter," which Hillman and Stephen Stills cowrote for 1972's Manassas; the affecting, minor-key modality of the Jesus-themed "True He's Gone"; and the delightful old-timey title song. The Other Side could use a showcase for the band's blistering instrumental chops, but considering the somewhat spiritual theme of the album, perhaps that's an excusable shortcoming. --Alanna Nash
09818OChris Hillman - Other Side (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/47/711297474022.jpg?v=323.9921.59USDOutOfStockImportsCDPop-RockChris-Hillman2010-03-23
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