CRACKER Forever (Back Porch) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
With eccentric indie wunderkind Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse acting as co-producer and multi-instrumentalist, Cracker expand their rootsy sound on Forever to include some Shadowy Men-style surf-rock, a goth rock/chamber pop melange and the fabulous Sweet Caroline-style sing-along Don't Bring Us Down. The unifying factor is frontman Dave Lowery's trademark deadpan self-reflexive lyrics, which add an ironic subtext to the pretty pop songs. The only misstep is the ill-advised What You're Missing, in which Cracker take the piss outta country-rap prankster Uncle Kracker. Lowery should have his poetic licence revoked. Cracker play Lee's Palace Tuesday (March 12).