Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Lazy Stinker

This probably won't happen often, but Rob Sheffield condensed an entire record review into a mere one paragraph yawn. There are several factors that may have contributed this. Rolling Stone tends to only provide "review soundbites." Firstly, the first album reviewed gets a page and a half. The other records only get about a paragraph and a half. Sometimes it's enough, more than often it's a waste of your time. Secondly, it's a review of a remarkably successful Bon Jovi record, which could be boiled down to a bunch of old guys trying to sound like a less drugged-up version of Wilco. Thirdly, Rolling Stone skimps on the interweb reviews, hoping that anyone will buy their magazine on the rack (Here's a hint: Don't put the 17 year old star of High School Musical 2 on your cover, maybe that will help your pathetic cred).

However, I demand better writing! The content is more than questionable here. Don't get me wrong, I have respect for R_Sheffield, although his appearances on VHI talking-head shows are beginning to grate on me. He comes across as a fey, pimply, and somehow skinnier version of Tom Verlaine. Maybe I think he should spend more time doing his job. Namely, getting paid to write about music.

Bet you didn't notice, but Bon Jovi had a Number One country hit last year.

Yes I did. I did notice. They played on a bunch of day/night time shows, playing their hackneyed brand of country-rock. You turn on the radio, there they are. Kind of hard to miss them.

The Jersey boys remade "Who Says You Can't Go Home" as a duet with the great Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and watched it turn into a much bigger hit than the rock version. Which means it's time for a full-on Bon Jovi country album, right? Right.

The dramatic effect of the second sentence is lost on me. Why waste even a word in this skimpy review. So you'll keep writing this review, right? Right.

Lost Highway
moves in on Nashville as shrewdly as "It's My Life" skimmed Stockholm seven years ago – never one to go halfway, Jon even wails about his "plastic dashboard Jesus" in the title tune.

Alright, here we go. If you were interested in country music and read this review, you'd be offended. Part of the charm of country music is it's acceptance of recycled material and honest blue-collar subject matter. Be honest with your disdain of a musical form. Also, how fucking vague is that "It's My Life"/Stockholm line?

There are duets with LeAnn Rimes ("Stranger") and Big and Rich ("We Got It Going On"), but the keepers are Bon Jovi corn about cars and girls, especially "I Love This Town," a sequel to "Wild in the Streets."

So, according to Rob Sheffield, this album involves the following musical instruments:


This is great. Let's see if he provided any details involving lyrics.

-cars and girls

I'm sure this album was just as mediocre as he made vague reference to, but he gives not a single musical example. Perhaps he felt like there was no reason to review it. But my point is simple: It's a fucking review of a musical object. Would it hurt to write, "The rhythm section is typically solid but boring," or, "Richie Sambora never fails to shred, but he also never fails to be really old." That wasn't too hard, was it? It wasn't.

Also, just so we remember his wonderful roots:

No comments: