Reveling in my shallowness this week with our lead song Yeah, I Like You. Really don’t care if nobody else likes the Goo Goo Dolls or not, I do. Great sonics, tight song construction, vintage Johnny Rzeznik lyric and vocal. Rez produced the album as well, and this song is a little seminar on exactly how to place kick drum and bass guitar in a mix for maximum effect. 

Art d’Ecco really excels at the kick snare kick snare kick snare kick snare two step form, and Get Loose is a great example of it. Little sonic easter eggs everywhere, everything working toward a common goal. Equal parts Tom Petty, Beatles, Queen, and Bowie. 

Firecracker is a demonstration of how a good AM radio-style mix can turn a song into an earworm. The song is just a typical you’re so fine lyric, but it’s floating over a hot funk horn band. Typical Chicago, all the parts are crystal clear and in your face. It grooves even from across the room in mono with volume down. Great bass work. 

Night On Fire has several problems, foremost among them the artist’s professional name. Deathcruiser? Seriously? Why handicap yourself like that? And the kick drum is comically loud—sounds like a decent mix was all finished and delivered and somebody with money said “More kick!” It’s just ludicrously loud compared to the rest of the track. Pretty good song though, very modern Nashville sounds despite the giant kick. 

This week’s real problem child comes as a surprise. I expected great things out of the new Gabbard Bothers album, but at first listen it’s kind of meh. Half the songs bury the lyric in the verse, and all of them have this thin stupid-sounding kit with the hats and ride cymbal sitting right smack in the vocal range. But Hazard Kentucky Bluegrass Grandma is oh so strong as a lyric and melody. “Kentucky Rose/You sure are hard to find/I know not where you’ve gone/But what you’ve left behind.” Weirdly enough, to me this belongs in a Grateful Dead setlist with three separate interleaved guitar parts, two drum kits, and Jerry and Bobby yelling the harmonies at each other. That would be something…

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