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JFH Staff Review



Cool Hand Luke
The Sleeping House



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 12 tracks: 47 minutes, 17 seconds
Street Date: October 14, 2008


It's been over four years since The Fires of Life. Granted, we were treated to a rarities/best-of release last year in the form of The Balancing Act, but the last time Cool Hand Luke released a proper, full-length album was in the first half of '04. At last, the wait is over.

The band's fourth release, The Sleeping House, continues in the tradition of atmospheric, moody, indie piano rock that they practiced on their previous three outings. There is nothing dramatically different about it, (If anything, it sounds a bit more reigned in than their other efforts) but it just feels like a record from a band who has been around the block for a while. In fact, Cool Hand Luke has been making music for ten years, and while it is hard to label an album of theirs as "accessible," this is easily their most accessible release to date. All of this, while keeping true to their indie alt rock sound, and playing it better than ever.

Lyrically, Cool Hand Luke stays true to form. These songs are deeply spiritual and resonating. Materialism and humanism are confronted on "Buy the Truth" ("If I had a dime for every dollar I've wasted trying to be happy/I could retire because I would be miserably wealthy/Then I'd have the time to see that I'd thrown out my life/Like the paper and maybe the time by God's grace to start it all over."). "Failing in Love" attacks superficiality in friendship, claiming that true love confronts sin, and does not sugar coat it ("Am I your enemy if I speak truth?/And the whispers in my ear…I sing from roofs/No, I'm your enemy if I don't say enough/Oh, that you could see this truth is love.")

Indeed, Cool Hand Luke performs at the top of their game here. They might not win any new converts with The Sleeping House, but those able to see the merit in this band's beautifully crafted work will have another addition to their already impressive collection. Fans should be delighted at this next chapter. It's been well worth the wait.

- Review date: 10/12/08, written by Josh Taylor



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. Record Label: Lujo Records
. Album length: 12 tracks: 47 minutes, 17 seconds
. Street Date: October 14, 2008
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Fast Asleep
  2. Cast Your Bread
  3. Failing in Love
  4. Buy the Truth
  5. The Mirror
  6. Eye of the Storm
  7. The City Prevails
  8. Spirit Sing
  9. Wondertour
  10. The House
  11. Incomprehensible Sleep
  12. Wide Awake
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