People Magazine
March 4, 1996
By Jeremy Helligar

Lay It Down

Cowboy Junkies

Although Michael Timmins is credited as this Canadian foursome's lone songwriter, his sister Margo caresses his lyrics with such raw, naked emotion that she sounds as if she's baring her own soul. On the group's sixth studio album, mellow Margo sings in her usual hushed soprano, and her mood is as low as ever on "Lonely Sinking Feeling" and "Now I Know". Yet, thanks to Michael's reflective lyrics, the overall feel on Lay It Down is more pensive than melancholy. The arrangements are less spare and delicate than usual, with the sting of Michael's guitar chords adding unprecedented bite to the bluesy "A Common Disaster" and the otherwise hypnotic title song.

Still, Margo remains the most addictive Junkie. Her interpretive skill hasn't been so effectively displayed since the band broke through with their plaintively beautiful 1988 cover of Lou Reed's pub rocker "Sweet Jane". This is no small feat. Even Reed might have thought he was hearing that one for the first time. (Geffen)

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