KMA Sunday Service 8
A really, really short week, this week, as I’ve been busy helping my folks move into their new home. I have just not had much time to be on the blogs, or to be jamming the tunes! However, of what little I did hear, I was fortunate to have access to nothing but quality releases. Brace yourselves, it’ll be a loving one, and a wild one. We hope you enjoy this week’s blathering from the pulpit!
Since I’ve not been in the saddle most of the time, let’s get right to what little was in my ears this week. I’m not even gonna blather at you about other crap. Go!
I wanted to put this one first so that it doesn’t get completely overshadowed by another review (following). This one is far more important to me and, since this is my post, I’m gonna put this here.
Folks, I am an exceedingly lucky boy. I married the world’s most incredible and beautiful lady 12 years ago, this week (sorry for your luck, the rest of you, she married ME!), and we’re goin’ strong.
She rocks me.
And for the anniversary this year, even though we don’t really get anything for each other at this point, she gifted me a lovely copy of Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed & Delivered. This song has been a part of our lives together since the beginning, it played at our wedding, and now the full album is here.
And how does it sound? Haha silly mortal, Stevie in 1970 is awesome. You knew this. The originals are truly fabulous and, hell, even the cover of the Beatles’ We Can Work It Out is awesome. He’s deliciously soulful, he’s vastly creative, and he’s insanely brilliant. I defy you to hear this and not instantly fall for the funky groove. I loved this.
I found this in a thrift shop in another town, for $3. I texted Mike and asked if it was any good. Not only did he answer in the affirmative, he said it was in his Top 15 On The 15th (I’d forgotten^)! He said it’s poppier than their other releases but he loves it completely. Buy with confidence! Folks, there’s no bigger recommendation.
I plugged it into the car stereo on the way home and what I heard of it blew me away. It was rock, proggy, and just damn great. Sadly, a huge rain storm on the way home obliterated visibility and demanded all of my attention for the rest of that trip. It wasn’t until I got home and tried again that I discovered the nooks and crannies of this record. If you’ve heard it, you know what I mean. If not, go get it. It’s really something.
I really do think this merits multiple listens. Maybe I shouldn’t even be posting this here, yet. Maybe my thoughts on it are unformed, I dunno. Maybe, with my attention elsewhere for most of this week, I didn’t really give this enough time to percolate and I’ve nothing intelligent to say about it. But in writing from my gut, I do know that it’s bloody brilliant. These are really well-crafted tunes and the musicianship is superlative. Hot damn!
^ In my defense, we’d seen 20+ Top 15 lists on that day, so there was no way I was gonna remember all of who said what!
If this is the devil in music, then I am going straight to hell because I enjoyed this very, very much. It’s light, nimble, and bloody gorgeous. The violin work here is boggling.
I fully intend to play this again, when I have more time.
* with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit.
So I realized it was Friday^^ and that’s a great night for drinking! Especially since I have spent most of the week helping my parents move from their home of 40 years and into a new place. Release! So I put it to the gang about albums for a possible Drunk Review, and Mike’s vote won simply because, and this is a true story, he begged me to do this (stopping just short of getting on his knees). I can’t ignore that.
And he voted for this latest Bon Jovi record, because I may be the only person Mike knows who hasn’t followed Bon Jovi in a loooong time (I stopped in the 80s, and even then wasn’t all that into it) and so I really have no perspective on them of any value. Which (full disclosure) isn’t the whole truth – one time, Mike gave me the album Bounce and I reviewed it somewhere in these pages. But otherwise, I haven’t heard anything from them in ages, so he’s convinced I will have an unfiltered opinion on it. He said most people who are in the know either love it or hate it, so what will a Bon Jovi non-fan think about it? Let’s getting fuckin’ drunk and find out!
NB: Here ends the sober portion of this review. For everything that follows, all bets are off.
First off this wine has given me the hiccups. It’d be funny if they didn’t suck so bad. Gah. Anyway. Man, it’s been a long time since I did this. I feel good. Nice warm glow, and that urge to write all sorts of crap in big waves regardless of whether it makes sense or not. I have found my cups, I am well into them (and a lovely red wine), and maybe I really am a drinker with a writing problem (thank you, Brendan Behan). Whatever, I am writing about this thing. I found it for free on the youtubes. Alright eyes on the prize here champ let’s fuckin’ give ‘er.
A Teardrop To The Sea starts off slow (with dumb “oh-oh-ohhhhs”) and just doesn’t stop sucking. It plods, it’s insipid and oh god please make him stop thinking he’s a poet. But interesting are the opening lnes, when he says “I got what I wanted, I paid every cost, I’d give it all back to get back what I lost.” Hmmm… If he’s looking back, he knows the flannel and the haircut were a bad idea. Right? Oh and now he’s the sensitive artiste in the vagaries of fame, used and abused oh dear. The poor man and his millions. I feel so bad for him. FUCK. OFF. This first track might be enough. I’m gonna press stop. I am!
Next! We Don’t Run (yeah but bro, do you even LIFT?) is the same song but sped up. I swear. But oh he’s “standing my ground,” he’s “a phoenix from the ashes…” What? What phoenix? This isn’t a rebirth. I am not lifted by this. It makes me feel icky, like it’s a pitch by a cliche salesman, not a manifesto. Anyone who drinks that kool-aid didn’t value their life in the first place, they are Darwin’s exceptions, so buh-bye.
Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning is his best Springsteen impression (and failing miserably). Nothing in this song actually rouses me. No tingling here, no hard-on. This is just going-through-the-motions, almost-new-country soccer mom rock. Blech.
Now we slow it down a bit for more life-inspirational We All Fall Down. Oh ferfuckssakes. “Scrape my knees?” “Climb every mountain?” “Walk out on that wire?” Fuck off. Nasal JBJ as motivational speaker and master abuser of cliches. SKIP!
Blind Love is now scraping the bottom of the lyric barrel. Five songs in and he’s got nothing left. I picture a notepad with everything he’s already used scratched out, and this was all that’s left and it’s sad. Soft rock pap crap.
Who Would You Die For goes for ethereal spooky Leonard Cohen territory and falls way, way, waaaaaay short. This is the dick-swinger outside the party, the charlatan who can’t even get into the party where the real poets are, the master of the easy turn of phrase who sweeps up the scraps and those with no self-esteem. Neat guitar solo (if brief), and it wasn’t even Sambora, reportedly. Well, WTF. Bon Jovi with no Sambora? That’s like Guns ‘N’ Roses without Slash ($). Doesn’t work. In fact, the lack of guitars on this record so far makes me think it’s all over. Seriously. Go sing at open mic night, you dick.
Fingerprints is a bad, in-bed, in-the-sheets crap song. Haha any woman that falls for that gets what she deserves. Does this shit actually work? Not on any woman I’ve ever met. Bullshit and terrible.
Life Is Beautiful The “oh-oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhs” are back. Gah. The song isn’t any better. Maybe I’m just drunk and pissy, but this “life is beautiful” crap is really getting on my nuts. Again with the almost-new country bullshit. Seriously. Fuuuuuuck. This is really bad. Don’t. Just don’t.
I’m Your Man rocks things up a bit and tries to add a bit of, what, 90s Brit-pop to that one line? Garbage. It sounds stolen. Or maybe a bad idea tacked on for lack of anything better. But it doesn’t matter, it’s just more dumb JBJ on the make with the cliches and the wannabe-Springsteenisms and the easy rhymes of a high school songwriter. I’m not feeling it at all.
And then we get Burning Bridges. It’s the most honest song here, and (maybe I’m fuckin’ drunk enough) but it’s (probably) the only enjoyable song here. This is a bar drunk sing-along. Sure, it’s a throwaway. Sure it’s stupid. Sure it’s a total kiss-ass to his fans. But at least it isn’t completely cringe-worthy. It’s still not worth buying, but at least it’s not overwrought like everything else here.**
If this is a stab at Richie, if JBJ is “burning bridges” (which is what I might guess the album title means? WTF do I know?), and this is his new direction, well, Sambora’s well clear of him. Carry on, Richie.
And this record?
Do not buy this. You work hard for your money. You only have so many discretionary and disposable dollars in this bullshit economy. You would do well to buy yourself a sex toy, or a fast food meal, or whatever else you could spend $10 on that would fuck you and actually give you a moment’s pleasure. This album is pap crap minivan soccer mom feel-good cliche garbage. Just don’t. Honestly. Don’t. You can thank me later.
Goddammit. I’m even outta wine. I haven’t even spell-checked. I’m outta here. Avoid this like it was the plague. Ignore my warnings and you’ll be bringing out your dead for the wagon.
($) I’d originally put that it was like Aerosmith without Perry, but Deke rightly pointed out that they did an OK record without him. So I asked Mike and he said G ‘n’ R and, of course, he was right. Thanks guys!
^^ it was Friday night when I wrote… whatever this is, and I didn’t post it til Sunday.
** If I were to play this again in the light of hang-over tomorrow morning, will I wonder what I was on about, saying this? Probably. Even this song could suck, when I’m more in control of my faculties. I do not trust my brain right now. It’s fuckin’ soused.
After all of that, if you’ve made it this far, we’d like to thank you very much for joining us for another KMA Sunday Service. We hope you enjoyed your stay, and that you’ll leave a small offering of a comment or two in the comment collection plate as it is passed around, though of course, as always, this is merely a suggestion and not an obligation. We invite you all to join us again next week, when we once again bring you the KMA Sunday Service!