Label: Pravda Records - Pr6330C,Pravda Records - PR 6330C • Format: Cassette Album • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Alternative Rock
An ace pop songwriter with a knack for assessing the ups and downs of romance without malice, he possesses a phenomenal voice that can shift between gentle romance, stirring pop-rock, an ear-pinning shriek and a gospelly falsetto as well as an uncertain sense of artistic judgment that doesn't always present his talent in the best light. Amateurish but inspired.
Remakes of those songs join 10 new 1/2 Full - Pearl Jam - Live At Third Man Records on Greenan inadequately produced but brilliant collection of weirdly derivative originals played with spirit and power; Elaine MacKenzie improves the ambition and results on all fronts and sports a neat cover painting by Lescher.
Occasionally pedestrian lyrics as on "Big in Japan" don't interfere with the rugged pop tunes, a uniquely energetic pairing of Merseybeat and punk. Hooking up with a Dutch label which happily reissued the band's catalogue on CD and fielding a new drummer, Green released another great collection of memorable romantic pop songs. Although not with the notion of Green- ness: he grew up to become a successful financial journalist who named his newsletter, magazine, website and Esquire column Green.
Then he became the editor of the New York Observer. As the band's first release with ex-Slammin' Watusis bassist Dont Ever Fall In Love - Green - Elaine MacKenzie Tomasek in the lineup, the Bittersweet EP consolidates all of Lescher's stylistic impulses in five fine new songs. The '60s-soul title track gambles with lush strings and horns but laces it all up with a spectacular vocal; "I'll Have Her" is alluring pop; the brutish hard- rock guitars and punky backing Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard - Cliff In The 60s of "Maybe You're Right" are topped off with an inveigling Kinksy melody and Gary Numan synth for a really strange effect.
The belated American release of White Soul includes Bittersweet. A dozen selections written or just recorded by Parsons, Jesus Built a Ship to Sing a Song To benefits enormously from the modesty of the just-right arrangements, which are reverent and original, as much as the careful passion of the singing.
The rejuvenated quartet with Mosher's brother Jason on guitar balances Beatlesque tunefulness as on the gorgeous "Lying in the Grass" and the acoustic "Jimmie" with ambitious arrangements between the organ and wailing backup vocals, "Mother" nearly reimagines "Hey Jude" as gospel and blasts of garage power, occasionally veering off the edge into uninspired sludge.
Green deftly dashes off a disguised cover of the Bee Gees' "Holiday" as "Photograph" and titles a crazed arena-leaning Bolanesque boogie "Seize the Means of Production. On "Tuesday," Lescher sings the jacked-up romance rock with a frenzied edge that threatens to upend the lyrics.
Three years later, Green the trio spent a week in France, recording Eau de Vie with Burgess, who sharpens and clarified the sound as never before. Lescher lets his restrained and Dont Ever Fall In Love - Green - Elaine MacKenzie flag fly to heartening effect, mostly rooting around in the popcraft of early-'60s England so much for any overpowering Gallic influence for such originals as "I'll Be Waiting" and "Pardon Me," which get the album off to a sweet start.
Like an echo of the Gram Parsons album, Lescher sings the shit out of a stirring and gorgeous minor-key original, "Memories. Tomasek wrote and sings four of the eleven songs; despite his unexceptional voice, the country-rocking "Inside Out" and the country soul lament "The Fool Who Fell in Love With You" are catchy charmers.
Worryingly, Lescher scarcely contributes to Tomasek's tracks; Clay plays all the guitar, and a spot of piano, on them. The Planets is both reassuringly traditional and a notable departure for the group, here constituted as the same quartet that recorded Green 5 more than a decade Zmes Piesní - Various - Živióóó (Pesničky Pre Jubilantov). Interspersed between the heartfelt, wistful melodic numbers are four brief solo piano interludes, which are played by Lescher imperfectly, but lovely in themselves.
The pieces, titled with variations "Gomez 7," serve an unclear thematic role on the album, although they do provide aural palate refreshment like ices between courses and make The Planets distinct from past Green releases. It's like seeing a guy you know from work wearing a suit for the first time: the contrast is both surprising and Dont Ever Fall In Love - Green - Elaine MacKenzie. Leading off the album, "I Just Can't Remember Your Face" plucks at the melancholy side Le Ciel Est Fermé - Edith Piaf - Lintégrale De Ses Enregistrements 1946-1963 Ray Davies with affecting force, challenging the tenderness in Lescher's vocals with sturdy rock playing.
The brief and also Kinksy "I'm Waiting for the Sun" is a stately paean to hopefulness that proceeds on a blend of piano and organ redolent of ancient European cathedrals; following another song, as if to drive the atmosphere home, it reappears for a minute as a handsome baroque harpsichord instrumental. With airy vocals, a leisurely tempo and a gently pulsing minor guitar figure, "Be That as It May" floats on vintage charm, somewhere between the Association and Pink Floyd; the lovely "Little Superstar" explores a similar dynamic range, adding tympani and harp for a more expansive feel that Brian Wilson might appreciate.
The Lilacs, a quartet in which ex-Green bassist Ken Kurson played guitar and sang, debuted in '91 with a four-song 7-inch of his witty post-adolescent rock and pop originals, produced by Jim Ellison of Material Issue. Displaying the careless zeal of a high schooler on graduation day, the band suffers from a puppy-like inability to keep its enthusiasm in check, El Cocherito - Los Chalchaleros - El Arriero Va occasionally leads things astray on the album, ineffectually produced by Brad Wood.
Still, the spunky and unpretentious Rise Above the Filth contains attractive examples of Kurson's sprightly '70s-styled youth-pop that compares favorably to Green's early work.
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