Garden state R&B takes a polished turn
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 12/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"At the time of its original 1978 release, the Jukes fourth album was a big turning point. The band's independence from the Jersey shore sound of Springsteen and E Street had emerged on the previous LP, "Hearts of Stone," a move from Epic to Mercury provided additional distance, and the replacement of E Streeter Steve Van Zandt as producer and songwriter severed an additional tie. With the band really hitting its stride and vocalist Johnny Lyon firmly at the helm, the Jukes were poised to take off.
But they didn't. The loss of Van Zandt left the songwriting in the less capable hands of Lyon and guitarist Billy Rush, and though the band could still muster punchy horn rock and R&B, Barry Beckett's production was workmanlike but unexciting. Lyon's vocals were missing the passion of earlier album, and the words simply weren't as affecting or memorable. The album opens promisingly with the catchy riffs of "All I Want is Everything" with a terrific, stage-ready chorus hook. But the fire was quickly extinguished by the ironically un-anxious sounding "I'm So Anxious." The thank-God-it's-Friday "I Remember Last Night" is similarly lacking in passion.
Better are the slinky blues "Security" and overwrought "Wait in Vain." The album mostly lacks the sweaty Saturday night inspiration of its predecessors. Rather than capitalizing on their breakthrough, the Jukes dealt away some of their most vital elements. The results are passable, but in an effort to further escape the shadow of E Street, the Jukes lost their punch. With this album back in print after a few years absence, fans can now complete their collection, but this isn't the place to start your appreciation. [©2007 hyperbolium dot com]"
Southside Johnny Breaks With Springsteen & Company, And Star
The Footpath Cowboy | Kingston, NY United States | 09/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes had given up covering R&B oldies on their previous studio album, HEARTS OF STONE. On THE JUKES, they break completely with Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zant, and leave the songwriting entirely to Southside and guitarist Billy Rush. Despite the absence of Springsteen and Van Zandt, the horns and guitars still sound punchy, and rather than the dreamy romanticism of the first three albums, this one focuses on a world in disorder and the struggle of the songs' characters to cope with it. In addition, the music sounds more contemporary, taking in what was going on in the music world at the time it was recorded. This isn't the first place to discover Southside Johnny, but it is a masterful album nonetheless."
Buy this one!
Lisa Wolfe | New Smyrna Beach, FL | 01/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this cd is no less than fantastic. every song is great. the horns make it so different from other rock music and so incredibly good. i cannot believe this band never hit it really big; the talent here is huge. buy this cd. it's old now but has stood the test of time which proves it is great music. i remember last nite is my favorite song. i saw them do it at the agora ballroom in atlanta about 25 yrs ago and will never forget it. they have other good cd's but this is zzz best!"