Label: No Alternative Records - TRG 89310,TRG Records - TRG 89310 • Format: CD Album • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Indie Rock
Don't have an account yet? Get the most out of your experience with a personalized all-access pass to everything local on events, music, restaurants, news and more. The hype, the hype, the hype. Regular reports over the course of a year about the making of U2's latest--who was producing, who was mixing, who was standing in the spotlight, who was standing on the sideline.
Internet leaks which were probably intentional. Cease-and-desist orders which were unquestionably two-faced. The appearance of a single that radio-station lackeys in virtually every format embraced not because it fit their sound, but because they didn't want to seem out of the loop.
The announcement of a North American tour at a press conference that received more attention than the Pope's last visit stateside. Lengthy reviews in publication after publication by reviewers who seemed to be under the delusion that they were analyzing the Magna Carta, not a damn CD. And for what? For a U2 album. And make no mistake, friends--that's all this is. There are no shocks here, and no surprises, either.
Like Achtung Baby, which was ballyhooed as Το Τραγούδι Της Πηνελόπης - Μίκης Θεοδωράκης*, Μαρία Φαραντούρη* - Του Έρωτα Και Του Θανάτου radical departure without actually being one, Pop is essentially ordinary U2 product tricked up to give it a modern feel.
Of course, the actual contemporaneity You Make A Better Door - Dylan Hicks - Won the presentation is open to question. But the primary influence is U2. But this isn't a remix disc--or it's not You Didnt See It, Did You?
- Seba & Paradox - Beats Me to be, anyway. Instead, it's an album of all-new material--and judged by that standard, it's familiar fare. But if you're looking for the revolution, you're not even in the same time zone, dude. Guys like Hicks aren't supposed to make rock-and-roll records, let alone pretty decent ones. The best of these, the rollicking and unexpected "Hal Blaine," seeks to do for the obscure session drummer what the Replacements did for songwriter Alex Chilton.
And while the ditty might not singlehandedly revive interest in the percussionists's career, that hardly matters, since the song's lyric hook--a cheeky blend of Midwestern sincerity and knowing overstatement--is as catchy as genital warts. As for the record's blemishes, they're fairly minor: "Galaxy" is a nondescript attempt at psychedelia whose vocal You Make A Better Door - Dylan Hicks - Won sounds so much like Mick Jagger that you half-expect Jerry Hall to subpoena it, while "You Make a Better Door" offers little besides punchlines that you'll see coming all the way from Minneapolis, Hicks's hometown.
But if such limitations make his muse something of a one-trick pony, at least it's an entertaining trick. Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls. The Boys play an extremely low-key brand of acoustic music that's perfect for the kitchen table around which the group often records and performs. But a listen to Massachusetts makes it clear that this table does not hold a coffeepot.
Of the fourteen songs here, only one staggers to anything beyond a plod, while the most impressive aspect of the others is their steadfast refusal to move. The disc is like driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic when you're late for work: With each song, you're urgently hoping for an increase in speed that simply never arrives. The act's quiet sound does achieve a certain gracefulness and melodic beauty at times, but waiting through the cuts' gasping tempos is a hefty price to pay for such a modest reward.
And while such instrumentation has caused the band to be lumped into the Americana category, America as Jealousy - Bloodpit - Live @ Nosturi (DVD) "Horse With No Name" is more like it. This is slowed-down Seventies country rock filtered through narcotic Nineties lo-fi production.
The result is a dynamic-free indulgent mix that happily embraces the questionable musical gifts of everyone from Poco to Bread. All of which leads to a couple of burning questions: Didn't we all agree that these bands were dull and vapid the first time around?
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