Music » Music Reviews

Music reviews - 09.06.06

Untitled Document

New York Dolls
  • New York Dolls

New York Dolls
One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This

Meanwhile, back in the jungle… Some purists would have you believe that The New York Dolls’ new One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This --- the band’s first album since 1974’s Too Much Too Soon --- should be called Too Much Too Late. The problem is so many fans are clinging to what little the group left us with before imploding in a cloud of drugs and chaos.

Granted, the group here is essentially a new Dolls, with David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain the only surviving members playing with a group of young cats raised on The Dolls. But if you can get beyond the semantics and punk rock rhetoric, this is really a great record. It sounds like The Dolls. In fact the single “Dance Like A Monkey” is vintage Dolls, complete with jungle drums and monkey shrieks. And with so many bands still copping the band’s sound and style, why shouldn’t they?

The sound is tighter, with some of the rawness cooked out by the excellent musicianship. These Dolls can play; the originals could, but barely. Regardless, nobody plays glammed-up, punked-out, r&b-stained rock ’n’ roll better than the Dolls. And I betcha all those honkies quick to dismiss this platter will be right down front screamin’ their heads off --- with me --- when the band comes to town.

--- Frank De Blase

Public Enemy
  • Public Enemy

Public Enemy
Bring That Beat Back -- The Public Enemy Remix Project
Slam Jamz/Koch

It’s tempting to dismiss a PE remix album as a desperate move by a beleaguered group that’s suffered a series of indignities by its own hand, including anti-Jewish remarks, Flavor Flav’s drug problems and positively wretched TV appearances, the defections of Terminator X and the Bomb Squad, and steady creative decline. But those setbacks wouldn’t matter at all if PE hadn’t set the world afire in the first place and raised the hip-hop bar to stratospheric heights. The question then becomes: What could you possibly do to classic PE that makes it any more compelling than it already is? The answer, thank goodness, is “a lot.” In fact, these new backdrops for Flav and frontman Chuck D sound remarkably fresh and sophisticated, flow together seamlessly, and will have your head bobbing from the moment you hit play. If it takes hindsight to breathe new life into PE’s legacy, we’ll gladly take it.

--- Saby Reyes-Kulkarni



The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Don’t You Fake It

Does The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus want to be a scream-rock band, or a pop-punk band? Unfortunately for them (and for us), the answer is both. Striving to make a cohesive sound out of these two genres, TRJA only manages to create one of the most uninspired, uninteresting, unoriginal discs of the year. The bland lyrics are bad enough, but the switch from harder, faster, angrier rock to insipid pop-punk crap (complete with an eye roll-inducing piano ballad!) makes the disc a headache to listen to.

You can pick out the single from a mile away (“Face Down”); it’s the only song with a hook decent enough to keep your attention for the duration of the song. If it didn’t sound just like a New Found Glory song, I could almost give them credit. Almost. As it is, the whole disc, from start to finish, sounds like a mix between NFG and Linkin Park. Too bad for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, other bands have already done it…and they did it better.

--- Todd Rezsnyak

Bob Reynolds
  • Bob Reynolds

Bob Reynolds
Can’t Wait For Perfect
Fresh Sound

There is a palpable sense of joy emanating from Bob Reynolds’ saxophone on his debut album, Can’t Wait For Perfect. Reynolds’ compositions (he wrote all 10 tracks) manage to be complex and catchy at the same time, not an easy balance to maintain in jazz. In fact, “First Steps” is among the finest jazz tunes I’ve heard from a contemporary artist. Other songs range from dreamlike --- “Intro (For Tomorrow)” --- to bluesy --- “Can’t Wait For Perfect.” It’s not surprising that saxophone great Joshua Redman recently endorsed Reynolds’ compositional prowess by playing “Nine Lives,” another fine tune from the album, with his Elastic Band during a recent set at New York’s Blue Note club. Reynolds wisely waits until the final cut to slow things down with a beautiful ballad, “The Escape,” that gains momentum as it unfolds. Reynolds’ playing and improvisational skills are first-rate throughout, but no small part of this album’s success is due to the stellar cast of sidemen he has assembled. Pianist Aaron Goldberg takes flight on the opening track, “Common Ground,” and never lands. Bassist Reuben Rogers and Drummer Eric Harland provide a rock-solid foundation on tune after tune. Guitarist Mike Moreno and pedal steel guitarist David Soler play on only a few cuts, but add some wonderful coloration when they do. We should be hearing a lot more from Bob Reynolds.

--- Ron Netsky