The Soundtrack to My Minneapolis
Since when does the soundtrack to Minneapolis have a Southern accent? Although it's standard policy to compare local singer-songwriters to Dinkytown's estranged favorite son, this one sounds more like another Wilbury. When Stook (a.k.a. Joshua Stuckey) inflects a vowel just so, his drawl could be a dead ringer for Tom Petty's, though that flat, drawn-out tone also reminds me of Lucinda Williams. Misappropriated geographical traits aside, Stook's songs could score your average Northeast evening of dive-bar jukeboxes and tear-stained pull tabs. The album does get a little Dylanesque in spots, and those are the tracks that stand out. "When It All Comes Crashing Down" and "She Tried to Break My Heart," with their flourishes of C-2 Hammond organ, work regardless of the clichés they're peddling. Despite platitudes about how love manipulates us poor schmoes ("Like a puppet on a string, I've lost control/And all I want is someone to have and hold"), The Soundtrack to My Minneapolis ends on a high note: "A Song Is More Than Just a Song" is an arm-in-arm sing-along worthy of any pack of strangers trying to ward off last call.