Home  |  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News       



Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Nickel Creek
This Side

Review By Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Nickel Creek This Side

CD Number: Sugar Hill records SUG-CD 3941


  I love watching young musical wunderkinds mature. Nickel Creek, whose three members started playing together when they were barely in their teens, have all reached their early twenties. This Side, their latest CD, reveals the more experimental side of their musical personalities. The opening cut "Smoothie Song," which got its name from their fans at a concert who were solicited for possible tittles, has a less traditional form combined with a bluesy quasi-Celtic opening melodic line. It sets the tone for the rest of the CD -- the combination of familiar and beautiful melodies with unusual forms, musical textures, and patterns. The provocatively titled "Spit on A Stranger" is less a punk anthem than a neo-Beatleistic pop confection complete with phasey multi-layered background vocals.

While their last album put each member’s considerable musicianship in the forefront, This Side focuses on the songs and their craftily complicated arrangements designed to create different sonic moods. Sarah Watkins, Sean Watkins, and Chris Thile's considerable vocal skills have been moved to the front on This Side. All but a few songs are originals. Sean Watkins contributes three new tunes while Chris Thile penned five compositions and one re-arrangement of the traditional tune "House Carpenter."

Producer Alison Krauss must be held partially responsible for Nickel Creek's more polished pop sound on This Side, but anyone who’s seen the band live during the past year will find the album’s sonics to be a very accurate representation of the group's live concerts, just a bit more polished and texturally complex.

Although Nickel Creek may have begun as a bluegrass band populated by musical whiz kids, they have grown into a group whose music is not limited or constrained by musical labels. Neo-modern acoustic chamber pop is the closest I can come to defining this new and unique musical genre. If you want to hear what the future of pop music sounds like, give This Side a spin. Although "musical genius" is a phrase besmirched by the foul aura of hyperbole, in Nickel Creek's case it seems completely appropriate.




Sound Quality:













































Quick Links

Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews


Our Featured Videos


Show Reports
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
HIGH END Munich 2023
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
AXPONA 2023 Show Report
...More Show Reports


Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty



Industry & Music News

High-End Premium Audio & Music News


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics





Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.