The sound of a genius
Pieter | Johannesburg | 12/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This extensive compilation of the brilliant but underrated Mink DeVille opens with the power ballad You Just Keep Holding On. Next up is his legendary Spanish Stroll with its edgy rhythm, Spanish guitar, gorgeous female backing vocals, and streetwise delivery reminiscent of Lou Reed. This is followed by the exotic zydeco sound of the stirring Mazurka with its hypnotic melody.
Soul Twist and Savoir Faire are energetic rockers, Hey Joe is a sinister tale of desperation over a lovely lilting beat and trumpets whilst Cadillac Walk, another of his hits, is a brooding story song in a style that is a mix of southern boogie and new wave rock. The most magnificent ballads on this album include Guardian Angel, the achingly beautiful Empty Heart, the passionate This Must Be The Night and the stirring I Broke That Promise.
Of the live tracks, Demasiado Corazon is a buoyantly festive song with a Spanish flavor, Maybe Tomorrow is a yearning rocker and Bamboo Road an atmospheric and evocative ballad with magnificent guitar sounds, creating an effect not unlike that of the music of Daniel Lanois. The CD concludes with the Springsteenesque song Venus Of Avenue D, with its powerful riffs, captivating vocals and intelligent sax infusions.
I place Willy (Mink) DeVille amongst the greats like Springsteen, Lou Reed, John Cale, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and Michael Gira. There is real soul in his always melodic, sometimes spectacular songs. Quite a number of Best Of collections are available, but this album has the edge on account of the aforementioned three live tracks.