Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Young And Rich - The Tubes

This follows the classic 1975 Self Titled debut album by The Tubes. Instead of Al Kooper on production, they got Ken Scott to produce. This album is the first to feature Re Styles, the girl who's hand is on the covers of the first two albums, and also that's really the only difference between the first and second I know of. You know there isn't even that much info about this album on the web either.
  1. Tubes World Tour: This opens the album with an explosive track. It kind of is like a world tour recollection by way of Aerosmith's 1979 song No Suprise. Well with an percussion heavy chorus, and song Utopia keys. And a really funky solo. While not as explosive as the debut it's still pretty great. This is one for the few moments on this album that has this much excitement, or at least pulls me in this much. It's very fun to hear and kinda of makes you want to love this album. It might not be the same pull the previous album had, but it comes pretty damn close. During right before the solo there are sounds that remind me a ton of Space Baby. Then after the solo I had to laugh when I heard the accordion. Which works very well here. I also like the little touches and changes in this song. This really is a Tubes tune.
  2. Brighter Day: I heard this about five times now and I can't remember a single second other than its softer than the intro. Upon listening to this for the review, like in the moment, it's very Thin Lizzy sounding. At the very least in terms of Fee. The backing vocals, at parts remind me of Bowie's backing vocals on some songs. I think the best part is the classical guitar in the song and the solo. It's nothing that crazy or mind blowing, but it keeps the mood of a slower song and doesn't blow the steam away by the end. Upon revisiting this, it isn't terrible, it's just a bit different. I guess should also mention, those dual guitars (or what sounds like it) do pull on my heartstrings a bit. I mean still this isn't a 10 or anything more of a 7 or 8.
  3. Pimp: This is the type of track that I see The Tubes covering, but they cover it so unenthusiastic. I mean it's tracks like this that beckon the question, did they really want to be there. Well at least they didn't really go full out funk. There are some parts that sound like they added funk instrumentation, strings, bass heavy, and a harpsichord or a clavi. But the string swells are gorgeous. This song, if it was more alive would probably be as good as a song off the last album. Actually this sounds like it could have been an outtake from the last album. Earlier I said it was unenthusiastic, yes it's very much so. Like this song could have been epic, but they went the subdued way... but not to it's real benefit. I mean yes I have Morricone flashbacks (good thing), but it's just his music punches me in the heart sometimes.... this makes me kind of feel something, but not the brought to tears emotions that Ennio can.
  4. Stand Up and Shout: This is a rocker. The thing is this isn't really anything special. Ok maybe the piano rolls are kinda cool, but still. This isn't anything you can't really hear on any other album that has a rocker. There is a similar-Tubes World Tour feeling to this tune, but it's not as exciting. This also sort of reminds me of maybe the cover of Let's Spend The Night Together off Aladdin Sane. Just not as...... engaging. Even that little talking thing Fee does reminds me of the sort of breakdown in the cover.
  5. Don't Touch Me There: This is my favorite tracks here. Not that there is a ton to work with, so to say, this still stands out as a great. This is supposedly a "send up" of Phil Spector's wall of sound production. I can see that, but this is still my favorite track. I think the reason it is is because it's very doowop/brill pop influenced. The biggest problem is probably the "wall of sound" that I didn't realize was there. For whatever reason I don't care for the type of production. Now sometimes it is perfect, and awesome River Deep, Mountain High, other times it gives me a headache after multiple listens, Long And Winding Road. But its fitting seeing how it's a tribute to it. I don't know, I'd love to hear another version of this song because it'd be a 10 if it wasn't for that production. Seriously. This song is also very reminiscent, with the vocals and what not, of a Ronettes track. Hell Shirley (Re Styles real name) even vaguely reminds me of Ronnie or Veronica Bennett when she sings. Also this needs to be said, two people who are not in the Tubes, wrote this track.
  6. Slipped My Disco: Dancin' Fool and Disco Boy did it better. Also this song isn't really anything that I remember after hearing it. It's kinda like Brighter Day. There is this weird sort of reggae thing they do in the chorus, I think this is an interesting song, that I feel like if I went into actually what was going on (notes) it'd like it more. But audibly, I feel like there is something missing. I do laugh at the slickness of the way he says the title. And the ending gets pretty solid, but yeah. I just don't think it's as funny as a tune off the prior album.
  7. Proud to Be An American: "Were at least i know I'm free." This basically a lesser sequel of the What Do You Want From Life? track off their debut. This is done in a very Elvis rockabilly feeling. It's harmless. Oh, I figured it out, this would totally appeal to a Rockabilly or it's a pretty solid tune. Also if you care, you should look into those lyrics. There are a giggle or two given.
  8. Poland Whole / Madam I'm Adam: At 6:31 this is the longest track here. The second longest being 5:03 on the next track, nothing after that is longer than 4:42. So while not super long, it's quite a bit longer than most of the songs. It starts very, I feel like this is an epic tune but I also feel like it's trying to recapture moments that open the debut. The tune is still pretty solid in it's own right, it's just I feel like it's trying to redo it a bit. I think it's pretty hard rockin', but yeah. It does make me smile though to hear Fee go "crazy". He sounds like a crazy person a bit. Oh one last thing, I like those little touches to the song.
  9. Young and Rich: Closing the album we get a lounge acoustic track. And honestly, this is a fitting end. I feel satisfied when I hear this close the album. There is a chill feeling to this that I think fits considering it was chill on other tunes. Also really diging that organ/keyboard/synth what ever it may be. That solo melody is really nice, and the drums sound awesome here. And I love that build and all the little details that are happening here. Great great ending.
Overall I have to give this a 7/10. While its enjoyable it has its problems. What's wrong here only continues on to the next album. There are great tracks here, and then there are ok tracks. I assume Al didn't produce this either because of them not wanting it to sound like the last or because he was busy. I understand both cases, but still. When I hear the first album it makes me pine for singers and groups to gain an ounce of the personality that Fee has, but here it sounds like he's devolved into an everyday guy trying to be eccentric. And the group and recording doesn't seem as fun either. I should note the addition to the group didn't mess anything up. The song she sings is one of the best, if not the best.

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