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CD Review: Roky Erickson with Okkervil River's True Love Cast Out All Evil



The Deal: Take Roky Erickson, founder of psychedelic music – with the 13th Floor Elevators – at his drug-addled best, arrest him several times at the peak of his powers for marijuana, send him to maximum-security Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for possession of a single joint, throw away the key and you have the beginning of the Roky Erickson odyssey. Add elements of insanity, addiction, bankruptcy and electro-shock therapy and you have a more complete picture, till decades later producer Will Sheff, from highly regarded Okkervil River, gets the nod to produce legendary figure Roky Erickson's first recording in 14 years.

The Good: Well worth the wait. This is so compelling and masterful, it becomes an act of personal redemption. Call it art as it's got heartbreak, loss, recovery – all high drama – in one powerful recording. Standouts are "Goodbye Sweet Dreams," "Be and Bring Me Home" and title track "True Love Cast Out All Evil," all equally moving and downright inspirational.

The Bad: Little Triple A-ish toward the end, but not in a bad way – just more mellow, thoughtful, sad and sentimental. The only real negative here is what the state of Texas did to Roky.

The Verdict: Survival and redemption are beautiful to see and hear. If this recording of a survivor doesn't move you, then you're way too far gone.

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