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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dave Edmunds - Information

Name: Dave Edmunds
Album: Information
Year: 1983
Style: Southern Bluesy Rock
Similar Bands: J Geils Band, Blasters, Nick Lowe
"One-Word" Review: Electro-tinged-Honky-Tonk-Pub-Pop
Based Out Of: Cardiff, Wales
Label: CBS, Columbia
Information - Cover & Record
Information - Back & Record

Information (1983)

  1. Slipping Away 4:21
  2. Don't You Double Cross Me 3:15
  3. I Want You Bad 2:35
  4. Wait 4:09
  5. The Watch On My Wrist 2:08
  6. The Shape I'm In 2:25 /
  7. Information 3:52
  8. Feel So Right 3:31
  9. What have I Got to Do to Win? 3:14
  10. Don't Call Me Tonight 2:25
  11. Have A Heart 2:54
Album Rating (1-10): 5.0

Members & Other Bands:
Dave Edmunds - Vox, Guitar, Bass, Jupiter 8 Producer (Love Sculpture, Rockpile, 99'ers, Heartbeats)
Jeff Lynne - Producer, Bass, Synthesizers
Dave Charles - Drums, DMX
John David - Bass
Geraint Watkins - Accordian
Richard Tandy - Synthesizers
Paul Jones - Harmonica
Carey Taylor - Engineer
Bill Mottrell - Engineer
Mark Rusher - Cover Photo
Bert Holman - Management
John Scher - Management

Unknown-ness: I think I have heard of Dave Edmunds somewhere in passing, but I am not familiar at all with his music. I picked up the album, hoping to find great late 70’s early 80’s rock-punk with a little new-wave synthesizer added. I based this on Dave’s rock n’ roll stance and attire on the cover, and the computer screen on the back. With that imagery, I though I would surely find a solid, terrific, jittery and energetic album.

Album Review: “Slipping Away” starts off the album it has a progressive, new wave feel to it: smooth and electronic with a pulsing keyboard, a bouncy, footloose style bass beat. The vocals are higher, and there is a chorus of Ooo-Ooos in support. The song defies any real genre: there is southern bluesy rock to the production, and the song’s melody could be categorized as 50’s oldies rock. But nothing really stands out for me as being that catchy or distinctively memorable. “Don’t You Double Cross Me” contains a loud guitar at sporadic times, but the song is feels a southern rock song, thanks to its chorus and slide guitar solos. There are some very nice Beach Boys/Doo-Wop backing vocals, which give the song an authentic 50’s feel. “I Want You Bad” starts off with loud countryish guitars and the song wanders into a bouncy piano pop number. It has a catchy chorus of call and response vocals, but the southern-style production takes a lot away from the pop melody. “Wait” is a slower, southern stomp, with harmonica and bluesy story-telling. The catch about the song is in the chorus. The accented pause after “Wait” is a great example of anticipation and delivery before “stop/just a minute”, and is the key to making this song stand out. I feel like I’ve heard this hook used in another song, but I cannot think what that song might be. “The Watch on My Wrist” is a departure from the rest of the album. It is a sing-song, carnival-themed, electronic-enhanced pop-lullaby. As it is not exemplary to the rest of the album, I think it is the clearest representation to Edmund’s pop sense, steeped in Kraftwerk new wave rather than Geils southern rock. “The Shape I’m In” makes up for “Watch’s” departure, with a straightforward ring-around-the-rosie country polka.

Side 2 starts down the new wave / prog path mixed in with a honky tonk guitar on “Information”. The vocals are smooth, and sound a little like Mike Viola. The chorus has the building, driving new wave spirit of A Flock Of Seagulls. But the guitar, which I’m guessing is Edmund’s trademark sound, sounds out of place, and keeps the song from being better than “Watch.” “Feel So Right” is an anthemic love song. Bouncy keyboards in the chorus make it a fun memorable song. The southern style is toned down in favor of straightforward rock. There is a burst of a country guitar solo in the bridge between verses. “What Have I Got To Do To Win?” has an electronic metronome beat under a squeaky synthesizer. The melody is a head bopping, toe tapping strut. The structure is a little too simple, and it feels a little light, needing more meat in its production. “Don’t Call Me Tonight” is another honky-tonk country shuffle. But it could have been recorded like a Buddy Holly number; and it would have been just as good, if not, a little better. “Have A Heart” feels like a best of from what precedes it on the album. There is a little repetitive electronic hook buried under the country themed pop production. The chorus is a bold uttering of the title, and there are backing vocals accenting the hooks.

Overall, it is too much country for my palette. The stand out track is the carnival tinged Watch on My Wrist that feels like it could be at home on the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. But again, it is not very representative of the album.

Stand Out Track: The Watch On My Wrist

Dave Edmunds - Wikipedia
Dave Edmunds - Allmusic
Dave Edmunds - Live 1983
Dave Edmunds - It's All About Music
Dave Edmunds - Rockabiliy Hall
Dave Edmunds - Fan Myspace Page

1 comment:

  1. I am still laughing about your review. I especially like this: "I think I have heard of Dave Edmunds somewhere in passing, but I am not familiar at all with his music." Brilliant! This is almost perfectly moronic, are you trying to be this ignorant, or does it come naturally?

    Here's a tip: don’t listen do any of Edmunds' earlier, more beloved stuff, because with your nervousness about "country" (by which I think you mean in your imbecilic way, "Rockabilly"), you wil really NOT get that stuff...it is too high a quality for your mental levels anyway.

    Please man, PEOPLE LOVE THIS MUSIC! It matters! It really hurts to have someone as half-baked as you write about it.

    Now, of course, you might have some kind of expertise on some topic; I certainly can’t tell from this dog's breakfast, but if there is something you do know, then you should definitely stick to that expertise.