"I'm gonna paint a picture, gonna put it in a frame..."
spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 05/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As anyone from northeast Pennsylvania could tell you, the Badlees are one of those bands that may get some national recognition but somehow keep slipping through the cracks. Maybe it's because an occasional touch of harmonica gets them labeled as "too country" for some people, and their intelligent rock side makes them unsuitable for country airplay. Maybe it's because the lyrics would occasionally need some, ahhm, editing. (Purists rest easy - I'm talking three words over the course of an album.) Maybe it's because the group prefers to keep the close connection they have with their following in their native Stroudsburg and the surrounding area. I couldn't say. Whatever the reason, River Songs should please anyone who likes a quick witty rhyme or a fun upbeat helping of acoustic rock."Angeline..." and "Fear of Falling" are likely the most recognizable tunes for someone unfamiliar with the group. The rest of the album is just as sunny, apart from a couple darker patches in "Bending the Rules" and "Song for a River" - just as sunny musically, that is. The lyrics run between joyful satire ("Angels of Mercy") to sardonic wisecracks ("Queen of Perfection," "Nothing Much") to biting-but-fun barbs at others ("Gwendolyn," "I Liked You Better..."). This is stuff that's not only catchy but fun to sing with.. the kind you scream along with while flying along the highway some sunny day. (Maybe someday I'll think of a similar description so I won't overuse the highway-cruise cliche, but it still fits here.) If you're looking through this page because you like the Badlees already, then I'll just remind you to look for their new album Renew this summer. Enjoy."
Great band few outside Pennsylvania know about
Christopher Hivner | Dallastown, PA USA | 05/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I hadn't listened to this for awhile until a few days ago and was immediately reminded how much I love this CD. Even the songs that aren't my favorites are still good songs. The Badlees are straight forward rock music with a little country thrown in occasionally. Angeline is Coming Home is the most recognizable cut from River Songs but I also love Bendin' the Rules, Song for a River, Queen of Perfection and I Liked You Better When You Hated Yourself. Liked You Better and Queen of Perfection have catchy melodies mixed with darkly funny lyrics. Song for a River is a long, slow song with the verses spoken instead of sung as it tells a story.
Pete Palladino has a strong, vibrant voice and the whole band are excellent musicians. River Songs is a great CD."
One for Hootie fans
Greg Brady | Capital City | 03/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Much like the wellknown band, The Badlees focus on rootsy rock with occasional touches of country instrumentation and strong melodies. Add to that a more than passing similarity to Darius Rucker's voice in Badlee lead vocalist Pete Palladino and you have the recipe for something Blowfish backers are likely to enjoy.
What makes the Badlees different from H&BF is the unusual topics often covered in their tunes, from a mental patient's return home ("Angeline is Coming Home"), fantasy revenge on a nagging spouse ("Queen of Perfection"), and a drinking buddy's discontent when a mate finds health food religion ("I Liked you Better When You Hated Yourself").
Best tunes here are the brother asking for mercy for his black sheep sibling ("Bendin' the Rules"..which features a wailing guitar break), radio singles "Angeline is Coming Home" and "Fear of Falling", the peppy "Gwendolyn" and the deliberate trashiness in "I Liked You Better When you Hated Yourself" with lines like "You kicked your bad habits, you're in perfect health, But I liked you better when you hated yourself".
"Ore Hill" and "Song for a River" are two of the lesser tracks on the disc.
Bottom Line: If you enjoyed Rucker and company's CRACKED REAR VIEW you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy. You surely can spare the penny it's going for used.
3 1/2 stars"
Just give them a shot - you won't be disappointed!
Greg Brady | 06/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you appreciate good blends of vocals & music- try 'em. I have seen them live and the lead vocal is excellent. The rest of the country is missing out on some good ol' band playing."