Rachel's Greatest Stiffs
Felipe Fernandez | Chicago, Il. USA | 08/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOOOOOOOOOVE Rachel Sweet! "Fool Around" was a great debut, quite a departure from her early country singles (for the most part anyway), but her masterpiece has to be-in my opinion-"Protect the Innocent", it's the most diversified of her 4 albums. She wrote 2 songs herself & co-wrote 2 more. All tracks are excellent and her voice is in top form-she rocks out here more than anywhere else. of course there are a few killer ballads as well. Rock, country, new wave, pop-it's all here. My faves: Jealous, New Age, Baby lets Play House, Spellbound, Lovers Lane, Foul Play, Take Good Care Of Me, & Tonight Ricky"
Rachel Sweet joins the "New Wave" with producer Martin Rushe
J. McDonald | 04/03/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"1980's "Protect the Innocent" was the second album by Rachel Sweet, a follow-up to 1979's "Fool Around". Rachel began her career not so much as an "artist" but simply a unique "voice" and "image" being guided by managers and her record label (Stiff). "Fool Around", with its very eclectic mix of songs ranging from "near country" to "bizarre alternative" was an example of throwing it all at the wall to find out what sticks. Unlike the first release, "Protect the Innocent" was an attempt to guide Rachel into a particular genre, mainly "New Wave". For that task, producer Martin Rushent (Stranglers, Buzzcocks, Go-Go's - Talk Show) was hired.
Another major difference between the debut effort and this follow-up can be found in the songwriting credits. "Fool Around" was completely comprised of material written by other writers (ranging from Elvis Costello to John Wicks and Will Birch of the Records), but on this release Rachel gets full writing credit on two tracks and co-writing credit on one track.
Good tracks include an excellent rendition of the Lou Reed song "New Age", the punky "I've Got a Reason", and "Take Good Care of Me". Like her first release, "Protect the Innocent" is a bit uneven at times mainly because Rachel was VERY young and still finding her footing as an artist. It wasn't until the 1982 release "Blame It On Love" that Rachel really began to showcase her full potential. Still, this is an excellent album and an enjoyable journey back to 1980.
Recommended for fans of "New Wave", early 80's, and of course fans of Rachel Sweet!
I had hoped that her other albums ("...and then he kissed me" and "blame it on love") would have received the same high quality treatment when released on CD, but instead both albums were placed on one release that suffers from poor sound quality. I hope they eventually get the same royal treatment that "Protect the Innocent" is receiving, they certainly deserve it!
Protect the Innocent
R. M. Ettinger | Cleveland Heights, OH USA | 06/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sweet barely made a blip stateside on her first two disks. I think I heard of her more b/c I was way into 'new wave' back in the day and that Sweet was a fellow NE Ohio native.
'Protect the Innocent' was much more adventurous than 'Fool Around' and I consider it her best and most consistent disk. Rushnet did a good job w/the production - making the material less pop oriented and bit more dark and....manic(?), if you will.
The covers are a little more obscure (ok...maybe not Elvis' "Baby Let's Play House", but she pulls that off), Lou Reed's "New Age" was unexpected and well done. The entire disk has held up well over the (gulp) 25-28 yrs it's been out. There are a few songs that aren't as strong ("Fool's Gold" and maybe "Lovers' Lane") but the good stuff is Good.
It's a shame this CD isn't available domestically - but I never saw it as a U.S. disk even back when originally released, It always was her quintessential Stiff/UK disk...down to the cover art.
If you can get it and willing to shell out the high high price - it might be worth it."