Ok. Bob What’s His Name is back. Maybe he’ll redeem himself here. Thankfully he didn’t do a Partridge family impression on this one and bring his kids along for the ride. I looked at the huge list of additional(which up to this point have always been unnecessary) musicians and was skeptical, but I’ll go in with an open mind.
Morning Moon – Mellow acoustic strings start this one off. 15 seconds in, the tone picks up. This song has both a country charm, and orchestral strings, but surprisingly it works. I could have seen this song to have been a crossover hit on the country and rock charts. In sort of a Blue Rodeo or Steve Earle kind of way.
Honey, Please – More mellow, twangy country sounds. Ok. 1 was fine. 2 may be too much. Especially to begin an album for a rock band, Bob. Neither of these 2 songs are bad, just leading Hip fans in the wrong direction. Some fans may only get 2 songs in and disregard the rest of the album.
The Last Recluse – This song begins off almost Bowie like. A little less mellow than the last 2, but still has a bit of a twang near the middle part of the song. Rob Baker does get some psychedelic sounding guitar licks in though.
Coffee Girl – Has an almost early/mid 90`s alternative beat. It also unfortunately has the same meaningless lyrics found in most of those songs of that ilk.
Now The Struggle Has a Name – Yes It does. Bob. Cool guitar work in this one. At 1:23 of this song, the band completely shifts gears. What a breath of fresh air.
Depression Suite – This song shows some of the Hip of old, but still feels like a wild animal in chains.
The Exact Feeling – I can hear Rob Baker`s wah influenced guitar and no matter how much you know who tries to screw this one up, I know it will be ok. It is a pretty decent song.
Queen Of The Furrows – This song starts slow, but gets a little faster. Around 2 minutes in the pace picks up, and Rob Baker’s guitar wails. That 2 minute mark seems to be the point in which this album awakens as well. I wonder if Bob went to the can, and the band locked him in.
Speed River – The drums are the star on this one. The guitar work is pretty good as well.
Frozen In My Tracks – You can sense something bubbling below the surface on this song. The first minute of the song is a buildup, but after that minute mark the band pounces. The instruments boom and Gord’s voice goes off into an angry, wonderful place.
Love Is A First – The only charting single on the album is an amazing song. It has some similar aspects to TPOH, especially the spoken word section during the fourth verse. The drumming is precise, the bass thumps, the guitar is amazing, and the added effects are cool.
Country Day – Bob must have freed himself, and as punishment forced the band to have a bunch of orchestral musicians join in. It is not an awful song, but Gord seems to be phoning the vocals in, and the background are a whole bunch of strangers. Rob Baker’s guitar is lost in the mix. After the momentum of the last few songs almost saving this record, this song drops it back into the cesspool.
This album should have been an EP. 5 or 6 songs would have been better than 12. The whole Bob Rhymes With Sock experiment completely failed in my opinion. He never brought anything unique to the table. He muddied the waters, restrained the band from doing what they do best, and brought a ton of people that were not needed along for the ride. All at the bands expense, both monetarily, and musically.