Home Read Classic Album Review: Radiogram | All the Way Home

Classic Album Review: Radiogram | All the Way Home

The Canadian roots outfit's mesmerizing sophomore set is a beautifully bleak affair.

192

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


“What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker,” laments Radiogram’s Ken Beattie on All the Way Home, an album that gives new meaning to the term sophomore slump. Not it terms of musical quality, mind you.

This second rough-hewn CD from ex-Winnipegger Beattie’s Vancouver roots outfit is every bit as mesmerizing and magnificent as their 2000 debut Unbetween. But as Beattie’s happy little lyric snippet above suggests, All the Way Home is also bleak — tragically, heroically, divinely bleak. Gently bolstered by Americana recreations that mine the tragic soul of Gram Parsons, the downbeat beauty of Red House Painters and the chamber-folk grace of Lampchop, Beattie and his fragile, craggy voice hesitantly glide like a troubled ghost through hushed, sorrowful tales like Self Helpless, Cemetery Summer and Buy the Farm. Now and then a tune like Summer Song Summer or Love Vigilantes offers a ray of sunshine, but in truth, All the Way Home is best experienced late at night in a darkened room.