Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hobo With a Grin
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Reissue of the debut solo album, first released in 1978. Includes two bonus tracks specially selected by the British rocker's fans, 'Spaced Out' and 'That's My Life In Your Hands' (Live). Features the guitar of Marc Bolan... more »
Reissue of the debut solo album, first released in 1978. Includes two bonus tracks specially selected by the British rocker's fans, 'Spaced Out' and 'That's My Life In Your Hands' (Live). Features the guitar of Marc Bolan on one track, 'Amerika The Brave'. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.
Steve Harley goes Hollywood -- sort of
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Hobo with a Grin" was one of a hardcore handful of obscure vinyl albums I'd kept squirreled away for twenty-odd years, hoping for but never expecting a CD reissue. So it goes without saying that I welcome the re-release (with bonus tracks even) of this solo album by the frontman for the British glam band Cockney Rebel.That said, prospective purchasers should understand that "Hobo" probably does not represent Steve Harley's greatest work. Coming at a time when Harley discovered Amerika and purchased a home in L.A., the album always gave off the faintest effluvium of intent to sell out. Many of the tracks smack of a certain insincerity. "Someone's Coming" is an especially disappointing example -- far too glossy and slick to be heartfelt, and lacking the witty Harley histrionics his fans know and love. The problem with "Hobo" as a cutthroat commercial enterprise is that, even surrounded by expensive Bel-Air producers and session musicians, Steve Harley is too much of an intrinsic bohemian personality to sell out fully and convincingly. At his core, Harley remains an actor and a poet, and these qualities shine through in songs like the enraptured "Riding the Waves," and the mysterious synth-driven "Faith, Hope, and Charity."Then there's the tour-de-force 7-minute opus "(I Don't Believe) God is an Anarchist," which by itself makes this CD worth owning. The song addresses itself powerfully and memorably to questions of spiritual belief and the surrealism of modern life. You can argue whether the lyrics amount to mere facile wordplay or constitute a statement of true socio-political import, but there is no argument about the superb musicianship and compelling performance.Harley's is a unique voice and a unique sensibility in an industry that seems to reduce anything distinctive to bland homogeneity. "Hobo with a Grin" is pop music that somehow resists becoming pap music, perhaps despite itself. If you're an open-minded music fan of eclectic taste questing after something genuine, this album is worth a try. However, if you're new to Steve Harley, you might be well advised to start with one of the first two Cockney Rebel albums, "Human Menagerie" and "Psychomodo.""