Pieter | Johannesburg | 12/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Savoir Faire is a masterpiece of powerful melodious songs in an awesome variety of styles. There are Rock, Pop, Spanish, Zydeco and Phil Spector type flavours to DeVille's amazing music, whilst the elegance of Nick Lowe also comes to mind. There are rousing rock ballads like This Must Be The Night, clever pop like Mixed Up Shook Up Girl and Guardian Angel, and achingly tender moments like I Broke That Promise or the flowing ballad Just Your Friends.
There are also brooding soulful songs like "A" Train Lady, edgy new-wavish rock like Savoir Faire, Spanish Stroll and Cadillac Walk with their streetwise attitude reminiscent of Lou Reed. Soul Twist is an example of uptempo early rock `n roll, One Way Street is a piece of blistering hard rock and the swirling Mazurka is presumably an example of zydeco or some similar latin style.
I love the music of DeVille because at various times it brings to mind the poetics of Lou Reed, the passion of Springsteen, the intensity of Frankie Valli and the authenticity of Nick Lowe. Diverse in style it may be, but the music is very cohesive, held together by DeVille's expressive voice and the brilliant arrangements.
Why Mink DeVille didn't make it big remains a mystery to me. Catchy hooks, captivating vocal harmonies, soulful vocals and poetic lyrics make every song on Savoir Faire a masterpiece. Mink Deville is one of the obscure geniuses of rock and this collection is a timeless classic. If ever an album deserved more than 5 stars, Savoir Faire is it.
Sweet and hot
Pieter | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best DeVille album -- either with Mink or as solo artist. From the kick-butt opener, "This Must Be the Night", a rocking ode to the promise of a night to remember, to the crooning balladry of "Heaven Stood Still", this CD is brief, but chock full of memorable tunes. "That World Outside" and "Just to Walk That Little Girl Home" are gut-wrenching slow pieces exposing the tender, fragile soul of a man desperately, hopelessly in love. "Lipstick Traces", a fiery rocker about a tough, streetwise object of lust kicks out. Outstanding stuff. Willie had a shot at national stardom with his work on the "Princess Bride" soundtrack, but almost any of these tunes are stronger than the hit he had there. Much more highly thought of in Europe than the States, this one ranks at the top of a pretty impressive body of work over 25 years. Try to track down "Live at CBGBs" which features 3 live songs from a typical set at that Bowery dump. The recordings are raw, but you can hear the early sound of a true NYC street-wise minstrel."