2009: 15 of the Best. #12…

December 3, 2009

#12 – The Proclaimers – Wages of Sin

From: Notes & Rhymes
Released: June 15, 2009
Label: Persevere/429
Buy it: Here.

It pains me to admit it, of course, but you can’t deny the mileage these guys have driven off of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).” Never mind the fact that the song first surfaced on 1988’s remarkable Sunshine on Leith — it finally made a splash in the US in 1993 with its inclusion on the “Benny and Joon” soundtrack, then got new life this decade with a (depending on your interpretation of “funny”) appearance on “Family Guy” and a rerecorded version in 2007 for the Comic Relief charity. Of course, to cast their career as a continuing prostitution of that track is completely off the mark — Craig and Charlie Reid have continued to make solid (if not fantastic) albums throughout the last two decades. This year’s addition, Notes & Rhymes, is spotty at best, but you’re always guaranteed one or two barnstormers on each of their albums and “Wages of Sin” produces that moment this time around. Boasting the kind of production and arrangement usually reserved for the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and Friends albums, the song is a glorious addition to the Northern Soul canon and a fabulous meditation on how imperfect (but hopeful) we all truly are. It flirts with Gospel music, and frankly, if this is was the kind of music I could hear at church a bit more often, I might be more inclined to attend.

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