An American Original in Top Form
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jonathan Richman seems to be too weird for some people, but this fairly accessible album opens a window on one of the most-fun and steadiest-rocking musicians of the past thirty years. The opening instrumental reminds us that Jonathan has instrumental chops to go with his one-of-a-kind lyrics. The other instrumentals, "Blue Moon" and "Sleepwalk," show his roots are as deep as anyone's. "I Eat With Gusto, Damn! You Bet" is hilarious. But it's songs like "Action Packed," "Everyday Clothes" and "Fender Stratocaster" that showcase his knack for rocking so hard that you forget--there's no band! And "Closer," "Miracles Will Start to Happen" and "A Mistake Today for Me" prove that Jonathan can be funny and sensitive like no one else alive. He loves to show off his multilinguality, so we get "Que Reste-T-Il de Nos Amours?" and "Cerca" thrown in. You'll hardly have more fun than this, unless it's with another Jonathan Richman album. It's gotta be action packed, and it is! But be warned: buying the album doesn't excuse you from seeing Jonathan when he comes to town. You will leave his show smiling."
He Performs With Gusto, Damn! You Bet
zebguru2 | Canada | 06/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember being ten years old in 1989 and flipping through my sisters albums (Young Fresh Fellows, Sixty Four Funny Cars, NoMeansNo, NRBQ) and coming across this one. I put it on the turn table and have been in love with it ever since (I still own that original vinyl copy). Side A (you really need to listen to the CD as though it were an album) eases you into things with 'Malaguena de Jojo', then picks it up with 'Action Packed' before slowly dropping tempo until finishing with 'Closer'. Side B starts off with 'I Eat With Gusto, Damn! You Bet', an odd little poem. After 'Gusto' it makes a sudden change to the ballad-like 'Miracles Will Start to Happen' (one of my favorites), and then smoothly winds down the rest of the album before finishing with 'Cerca', or 'Closer' en Espanol. When you get right down to it this is an incredible album. The guitar on the instrumental tracks has an eerie haunting tone to it, and Jonathan's vocal stylings are similar to Lou Reed's, not spectacular but you never really notice. To summerize; buy this album. Play it for friends and family, or just for yourself, but buy it and really *listen* to it."