A Barely Dated Hybrid
Reviewer | United States | 10/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"4+, that is. Many call this classic rock 'n' roll. If they're comparing it with Boston, Dave Matthews, or other such over-blowns/watered-downs, I see their point. However, I hear a delightful hybrid, the sort of merging more likely when most of the sources are faraway (as with the Beatles and black "girl groups," producing something derivative while different). Elvis Presley or Johnny Burnette & the Rock 'n' Roll trio, who in their day had never heard of Otis Redding, could still kick the Rumour's ass at bare-boned ROCK AND ROLL. But who cares? This is great stuff. Back when it came out, and my friends & I were 20-something, it revealed a mature yet fresh approach to what would later come to be called Alternative Rock, Rock - let's not start that whole argument again. While stages were being dominated by a bunch of boys, or boyish personas(the Ramones, Sex Pistols, et al) Parker & his cohorts, like distorted reincarnations of Frank Sinatra or Louis Jourdan, jumped up and said, "Wait a minute - we can play - and we have experience!" - very sexy. My girlfriends & I consistently helped pack sweaty dance floors at Parker's U.S. tours. Think we'd have trouble relating to the viewpoint of "Hotel Chambermaid"? The song, which is written & played in a wonderfully circular/resolving fashion, is so convincingly joyful as to transcend such considerations. Along with "Turned Up Too Late," "Back Door Love," "That's What They All Say," & a handful from Howlin' Wind & Stick to Me, it's a timeless reminder of the innocence, hope & raw oomph that lived before AIDS & a host of other plagues drained some of the roll out of rock. As to why Parker didn't make it "bigger," he was able to ride the New Wave's coattails but his aforementioned maturity (& lack of standout physical appeal - he was already going bald, for instance) placed the band in a relatively unmarketable nether zone. Elvis Costello was no handsomer but got lumped in with the New Wave and benefited from Stiff's dead-on marketing. Dave Edmunds had been around longer but was cuter and able to go in a more Pop direction. It didn't help that Parker was sometimes confused with Costello. Years later, I think Parker's music has aged better. And I'm certainly less sick of it - one of the benefits of lack of extended airplay?"
This is awesome...
Mikey Scars | Maryland | 05/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This sounds a lot like The Clash's London Calling. Ahead of it's time in way of it's eclecticism mixed with punk rock."