Pin It

Record Review 

The irony of Warren Zevon -- who has shifted from boasting "I'll sleep when I'm dead" a quarter century ago to wistfully admitting "Life'll kill ya" on his most recent album -- isn't lost on the perpetually ornery singer/songwriter. Though his music is now less aggressive -- toned down to an acoustic, but far from folksy, approach here -- Zevon's twisted L.A. pop/rock effectively skewers the cloying sentimentality of the Eagles and former mentor Jackson Browne with a batch of lyrically poignant, often humorous tunes that prove age has only sharpened Zevon's poison pen.

Look no further than "My Shit's Fucked Up" (conveniently omitted from the back sleeve in the off chance of offending Wal-Mart shoppers). In the song, Zevon's doctor breaks the title's news to him, all to the backing of a lilting acoustic melody. His response -- "I had a dream ... it's shot to hell" -- could've been the album's subtitle. It's precisely that droll, black humor at which Zevon has always excelled, that's at the core of this uncompromising, witty and sardonic album. Song titles such as "I Was in the House When the House Burned Down," "I'll Slow You Down" and the closing lament, "Don't Let Us Get Sick," sharpen the blade for his unapologetically straight reading of Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again." In the context of the rest of these grouchy tracks, it's a goof of monumental proportions.

Make no mistake, Warren Zevon has been there, done that, and has the psychological (not to mention physical) scars to prove it. But, most importantly, he knows you do too.

Warren Zevon plays the PlanetJam Cotton Club, Sun., Dec. 10.

  • Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Album Reviews

More by Hal Horowitz

09/11/2014

Search Events

Recent Comments

  • Re: 9 shows to hit up this weekend — Sept. 12-14

    • Also the Black Madonna - a resident and talent buyer for Chicago's Smart Bar -…

    • on September 12, 2014
  • Re: Win tickets to ONE Musicfest

    • Awww man no more contests for tickets?

    • on September 12, 2014
  • Re: One MusicFest goes big

    • Sounds like he's going to eventually make the "black" Bonnaroo soon enough. Just keep the…

    • on September 10, 2014
  • Re: Meltasia Recap: Day Two

    • It's very easy to insult people's work anonymously. Not to mention, respectable. May I ask…

    • on September 10, 2014
  • Re: Win tickets to ONE Musicfest

    • That is correct! Please send your name and contact info to chad.radford@creativeloafing.com and we'll get…

    • on September 8, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation