Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Originally 1997 Release from ex MC5 Guitarist !
Originally 1997 Release from ex MC5 Guitarist !
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Wayne Kramer - 'Citizen Wayne' (Epitaph)
Mike Reed | USA | 08/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Looks to be Kramer's 6th solo effort out of eight.Didn't even know the former MC5 guitarist had released that many.This CD didn't exactly blow my mind,but I thought it was 'okay'.More or less straight ahead rock.Tunes that I sort of dug were "Stranger In The House","Shining Mr.Lincoln's Shoes","Count Time"(also liked the live version of this tune on his 'LLMF' disc-see my review)and "Farewell To Whiskey".Line-up:Wayne Kramer-guitar&vocals,Bob Mair-bass and Brock Avery-drums."
Autobiography and History
J. M Heumann | Houston, TX United States | 12/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought "Citizen Wayne," along with Patti Smith's Horses and Wave, because Kramer's "Stranger in the House" had been featured on the television series Millennium: Seasons 1-3 and, I think, Profiler Seasons 1-4 DVD Set. A strange motive, in retrospect, because "Stranger" has nothing to do with serial killers. Instead, it's a cryptic anticipation of the range of emotions and attitudes on this autobiography album.
Now, an autobiography of someone you don't know can be quite interesting if they've had an interesting life and lived in interesting times--and if they know how to present themselves in an interesting way. Kramer gives us all of these things. Vocally, his range is limited, but his words are never muddy, and they're worth hearing. Beyond that, Kramer's a topnotch guitarist, composer, and leader: the music never flags, even when the lyrics are weak.
So what's the attraction of this autobiographical album? Well, Kramer is, like Patti Smith, a workingclass poet. He comes out of Detroit and finds himself as a person when he and Fred "Sonic" Smith (deceased husband of Patti) are the lead guitarists with the M(otor)C(ity)5.
His story begins with the '60s, the antiwar movement, and radical left politics. "Revolution in Apt. 29" recalls Tom Wolfe's "Radical Chic": the topic is dated and worn, the song the weakest in the collection. On the other hand, "Down on the Ground" is rocking at its best. Subject-wise, it's about the '68 Democratic Convention, that of Mayor Daley and the police riot, and it makes an interesting comparison to Patti Smith's "Citizen Ship" (Wave).
As the story progresses into the early '70s, we get "Dope for Democracy": strong music and, surprisingly, not dated, capturing the grim anger and disillusionment of the Vietnam era, just as "Down on the Ground" captures the dangerous exhilaration.
"Dope" also prepares for the next phase of Kramer's autobiography, his bust for dealing dope and consequent doing time. These events are framed by his involvement with the MC5, and the music transforms tunes recognizable from the band's (very dated) Kick Out the Jams.
Kramer's time in Lexington was, strange to say, a most significant time in his musical as well as his moral development. In "Count Time" he seeds himself in a roll call of his influences, all jazzmen, including Detroit tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons and, most important, trumpeter "Red Rodney" Chudnick, who taught Kramer music theory while they were both in stir. The prison songs are the funniest, most affecting, and the most musically interesting cuts on this CD.
In all, Kramer's mature work is some of the best you'll find in this corner of hard-rock/punk."
Still a rock'n'roll god
J. M Heumann | 06/17/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brother Wayne Kramer is best known as one of the founders of the legendary MC5, despite several fine solo albums, of which this is the fourth. While there are several examples of the high-energy, Detroit-style hard rock ("No Easy Way Out," "Down on the Ground," "Snatched Defeat") he helped invent that show he's still better at it than anybody, what really makes this album stand out is the more experimental tracks, like "Back When Dogs Could Talk," "Count Time" and "Dope For Democracy," that combine producer David Was' penchant for electronics and the rap production styles Kramer admires with his trademark gritty vocals and lacerating guitar. Kramer may be the inventor of one rock legacy but he has no problem contributing to another. He's also one of the most intelligent and articulate lyricists in rock 'n' roll, whether he's discussing current politics or his own musical history, and he's still quite possibly the best electric guitarist around. He's also incredible live. All of his albums, either solo or with the 5, are great and should be in any comprehensive rock music collection; Citizen Wayne, while lacking the visceral punch of The Hard Stuff or his work with the 5, is his most inventive and accomplished album yet."