Mr. Bad Example
With his old friend and guitarist Waddy Wachtel producing the sessions, Warren Zevon was in comfortable surroundings to lift off in the 1990s. “Finishing Touches” is a strong opener, with tough guitars, rock-solid beats and Zevon’s tense, controlled vocals listing the ways he won’t be available to his old lover. “Suzie Lightning” turns to a romance where distance keeps the object of his affection several steps ahead of him, with its perfect blend of keyboards and guitars building to a sweet and dramatic chorus. “Heartache Spoken Here” is a dazzling country weeper that follows the Southern pride of “Renegade.” “Things to Do In Denver When You’re Dead” is prime Zevon, delivering punch lines that feel like swings to the gut. “Mr. Bad Example” trails a man who lacks any trace of responsibility. “Quite Ugly One Morning” adds a cinematic creep to its driving step, with touches of Middle-Eastern instrumentation among the hints of hard rock. “Searching for a Heart” is another effortless love song from a man who always made everything he did sound easy, even when it clearly wasn’t.