Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I'm So Confused
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
No doubt that playing the minstrel in There's Something About Mary gave Jonathan Richman the greatest exposure of his career. But don't expect success to spoil him: I'm So Confused--which includes that movie's "True Love ... more »
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No doubt that playing the minstrel in There's Something About Mary gave Jonathan Richman the greatest exposure of his career. But don't expect success to spoil him: I'm So Confused--which includes that movie's "True Love Is Not Nice," if not the title song--finds the charming if offbeat pop-folkie singing the same simple-minded odes he's been doing since disbanding the Modern Lovers way back when. Produced with negligible effect by Ric Ocasek, Confused is mostly of a romantic nature, although with the occasional surprise. "The Lonely Little Thrift Store," for one, digs deep with arresting lines like "The avocado-green appliances with the smell of domestic violences." Perpetually quirky, Richman is nearly the definition of cult artist. No role in any blockbuster film's going to change that. --Neal Weiss
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Slick production can't disguise Jonathan's pain
Gena Chereck | Nebraska, USA | 06/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richman's second Vapor album, I'm So Confused (1998), starts out on a lighthearted note with the jaunty "Nineteen in Naples" and a re-recording of 1986's "When I Dance." But then it quickly turns heavy as Jonathan, picking up where Surrender to Jonathan (1996) left off, continues to to address the end of his marriage in songs like "I'm So Confused," "Love Me Like I Love," "Hello From Cupid," "If She Don't Love Me," "I Can Hear Her Fighting With Herself," "The Night is Still Young," and "I Can't Find My Best Friend" (a song I cannot listen to without crying). Like the best songwriters (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, etc.), Richman relies upon concrete images ("the night is still young, and the bed is still cold") and plain-spoken phrases ("I can't find my best friend, and my life's just not the same") to tell his stories and infuse them with genuine feeling. Much has been made of Ric Ocasek's glossy production and cheesy synthesizers. However intrusive these things may seem, though, they can't disguise the sadness in Jonathan's voice, which lends these songs extra weight. The disc only drags during a re-recording of 1979's "Affection," one of Jonathan's most emotional songs; here, he drains all emotion from it by smoothing out all wavers and breaks in his voice, fixing up some of the lyrics, and adding a goofy spoken bit toward the end. (These changes may make for easier listening, but the results are much less -- pardon the pun -- affecting.) I can see why he would want to resurrect this song, though: He may have lost the love of his life, but he wants to show us that it hasn't made him bitter and cynical; he still stands by his old word that love and affection are still worth seeking out. On a lighter note, the mid-tempo ballad "True Love is Not Nice" (a sort of precursor to 2001's "Couples Must Fight") and the rockin' "Lonely Little Thrift Store" rank among his finest recordings. (I love the cover image, too -- the gloomy color scheme, and Richman standing off-center as his handsome face looks deep in thought. Sad but pretty, like many of his tunes.)"
The Divorce Album
Michel Farmer | Peoria Illinois | 11/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Often people who try to interview Jonathan wil only mention how hard it is to get him to talk about his personal life. I find this highly unusual since there is no need for him to reveal anything, everything about Jonathan's personal life is on his records.This record is a testemant to that. This finds him singing about a failed relationship (If she don't love me, I can't find my best friend) and then trying to console himself (True love is not nice). It also has some of Jonathan's more distubingly poetic imagery (the lonely little thirt store). Yes, I am one of those [nasty] people who thinks this one is a little too slick (but it's been noted that us diehard jojo fans think that any production at all is too slick, I mean come on Jonathan once recorded an album in a bathroom) but the songs are good enough to look over that. I was glad that he went back to a smaller sound on "Her Mystery..". ..."
Speak what we feel
Othello Rexx | Brisbane, Australia | 10/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. Jonathan grows older and has let go nothing of the true self that he first showed the world so long ago. For Gods sake, listeners, is sincerity so devalued these days, that a man with his own voice, armed with gorgeous lyrical and musical imagery to be mocked? Jonathan continues to sing of the spaces between the everyday patterns. He is out on a darkling plain, calling to those who would fight ignorance and shammery. And that is why he languishes in cultdom. America, you don't know what you have."