Infectious American Rock
Aranion | Dayton, OH United States | 12/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Black and White" is a great collection of straight-ahead pop-rock songs, nearly all of them ridiculously catchy and infectious. Like the BoDeans' later effort,"Go Slow Down," this CD is all guitar rock -- if there are synths/keyboards, they are quite low key and used only for rhythm, effects (very few), or atmosphere. Of the 12 songs, 7 are incredibly good and make the CD worth purchasing. For good or ill, the hands-down best song on the CD is the first track, "Good Things." If you are not tapping your toes and struggling to sing along with the chorus, check your wrist for a pulse or your toe for a morgue tag. Simply great pop-rock with a bittersweet edge. The BoDeans have written the quintessential unrequited pop love song.However, even though the album reaches its zenith right out of the gate, there are still a good number of gems waiting for the listener. "Any Given Day," the fifth track, features a chorus riff and lyric that you will be singing for days after. I'm not sure if these guys missed their true calling in writing jingles for commercials, but I am glad they've done something with their gift. "For one dollar you can see angels call/For two dollar you can see your enemies fall/For three dollar, you can be king for a day." Trust me. You WILL be singing this!"Do I Do" and "Bad for You" are more hand-clapping, car-dancing inspiring pieces. Both love songs, the first manages to be both bittersweet and sensually groovy. The second, "Bad for You," is a romp of a song, featuring simple (though not simplistic) lyrics and a (here's that word again) fabulously infectious rhythm.Additionally, "True Devotion," "Paradise," and "Long Hard Day" all match up to the BoDeans at their best. Spanning from sad lament to rocking anthem, they draw you in and have you searching the CD booklet to ensure you can sing along next time.While I state that 7 songs are stand outs, only 2 of the tracks are what I consider unredeemable failures: "Black, White and Blood Red" and "Going Home." It's not the music that fails here; it's the ear-bloodying vocals of the #2 singer of the group. Sounding as if he swallowed a mouthful of broken glass, his raspy singing voice really grates on these tracks. For the other 10 songs, the other singer does the vocals, and his style and voice are simply great. On "True Devotion," the two share singing responsibilities, but it works on that track."Forever on My Mind," "Naked" and "Hell of a Chance" simply don't register with me. They're not bad or good -- a bit bland and unremarkable. If the CD is playing out of reach, I let the tracks play. If it's playing on my PC or close by, I will skip them.If you only know the BoDeans through "Closer to Free," you'll really dig this collection. If you're looking for great listener-friendly rock to clean the house, wash the car, or get ready to go out on a Saturday night, search no longer."
The consumate Bodeans album
firstname.lastname@example.org | St. Louis, Missouri | 03/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you had heard only a few Bodeans songs and wanted to start a collection of CD's, start here. The more you listen to this album, the more you think you are listening to a greatest hits ensemble. On the contrary, it is simply an album that has few pitfalls, and every song seems to breath the songs title. The rythyms, the vocals matched with powerful lyrics give each song it's own trademark. Symbolically, "Good Things" seems to serve as a preamble to the entire album, just as "Going Home" is an emotion filled close to a masterpiece. You can't help but become attatched to the Bodeans sound after experiencing "Black and White" Enjoy!"
email@example.com | 12/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely their best album, which is saying a lot. Not a bad track on it."