The Flying Burrito Brothers
The Gilded Palace of Sin


4.3
superb

Review

by robertsona STAFF
February 23rd, 2018 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist


The Gilded Palace of Sin opens with the rollicking, corrosive “Christine’s Tune,” a song which deftly illustrates the Flying Burrito Brothers’ desire to keep their feet planted among different eras. There’s something positively old-fashioned about the umbrage of the “She’s a devil in disguise” refrain, yet the song looks forward with a laser-like guitar solo and Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman’s thickly produced and pinched harmonies. Like the Nudie suits sported by all band members on the cover, there’s something lightly provocative about the Brothers’ means of cobbling together influences and filling them out with sound: heavily-strummed acoustic guitar, wildly oscillating bass patterns, reverb, and always those harmonies.

This makes The Gilded Palace of Sin something of a classic within its genre for those who don’t usually find themselves on country music’s wavelength—just the acerbic shard of fuzz guitar which protrudes about 45 seconds into the simple ditty “Wheels” should convince casual listeners that Parsons and company are here to fashion expressive sonic architecture that juts out from the folk tunes to which they’re attached. This dialectic of simplicity and total sonic saturation is executed almost flawlessly on the album, over and over again. “Sin City” could be the peak of the Brothers’ approach to their uncluttered tuneage, weaving together a 3/4 mosey with more gorgeous and invigorating harmonies from Parsons and Hillman and some yearning steel guitar from Pete Kleinow. “It seems like this whole town’s insane,” the two of them sing, and you feel the gravity of their remove from society even as they render it lithe and gorgeous.

It’s “Hot Burrito #1” that will ultimately capture the attention of newcomers, though--a perfect ballad and showcase for Parsons’ vocals, limned by Drake-like pleas for attention and respect: “You may be sweet and nice / But that won't keep you warm at night / Cause I'm the one who showed you how / To do the things you're doing now,” goes the first verse, Parsons shaking with passion. One could chastise the songwriter for his all-too-familiar chauvinism, and one would be right to do so. Yet the whole package is so intoxicating--one foot in the past, one in the future, as is the band's artistic prerogative--that a reshuffling of ethical and aesthetic priorities is in order for the listener, or at least a close examination of these priorities. When beauty and hatred come intertwined like this, even the most hardened of listeners might find themselves undone, coming up from the dusk of sound to face honestly the breadth of the many emotions we call love.



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user ratings (71)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2018


16273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just needed a review

Gyromania
February 23rd 2018


25797 Comments


great final sentence.

sounds like i might dig this

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2018


16273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah it's really good, maybe some throwaways but try the "sin city"/"hot burrito #1" duo I single out

Gyromania
February 23rd 2018


25797 Comments


this is the kind of music that should be shown to haters of country. hot burrito is great

Gyromania
February 23rd 2018


25797 Comments


such a peculiar name for such a touching song lol

Ryus
February 23rd 2018


16485 Comments


she's a devil in disguiiiiiiiiise

MrSirLordGentleman
February 23rd 2018


11820 Comments


I love when the staff remembers old albums exist

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2018


8598 Comments


always wanted to try them, since Gram Parson is so fucking amazing.. now is the time.. great review!

Digging: Mark Stewart And The Maffia - Learning To Cope With Cowardice

SitarHero
February 23rd 2018


6945 Comments


Why is this review in the users section of the front page?

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2018


16273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess old albums don't make it onto the staff section? sorta makes sense, sorta doesn't

SitarHero
February 23rd 2018


6945 Comments


But your Charlie Parker review is in the staff section...

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2018


16273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah but that's a 2016 (? or at least recent) "release" technically as a compilation, although who even knows because when I tried to put the review up I somehow created like four copies of the album on his page lol

SitarHero
February 23rd 2018


6945 Comments


Ha! These random bugs are pretty amusing.

MrSirLordGentleman
February 23rd 2018


11820 Comments


I've always believed at least 1/4 of the albums reviewed by the staff should be old releases. It helps to expand Sputnik as a database which is one of its weakest points when compared to sites like RYM

Plus it's like public service. Too many kiddos here don't know the real good shit from back then and cum all over Converge

theBoneyKing
February 24th 2018


15201 Comments


Great review for a great album which I need to revisit so I can rate.



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