Top positive review
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Great First Album
on June 30, 2008
Evolving from Dream Six, CB 's first album is short, loud, and sweet. Slower, soulful songs like "Beware of Darkness" and "Make me Cry" with its awesome harmony vocal, are mixed with full speed ahead hard rock monsters like "Over Your Shoulder", "Still in Hollywood", and "Your Haunted Head".
In between are mid tempo rockers like "True" and "Cold Part of Town". There is not a bad song on the album, and most are memorable. "Little Sister" (only half a heart away) and "Song For Kim" are superb.
The band at this early stage is solid. Harry Rushakoff is not flashy on drums, but solid as a rock, his bass pedal mixed up front, working with Johnette Napolitano's bass guitar to lay down a very effective rhythm. Jim Mankey is outstanding on the rhythm guitar parts, but has not evolved into the blazing fast, agonizingly tortured demon he would become. He sounds more like The Edge than Jimi Hendrix on this album, but is effective enough.
Johnette's voice and songwriting are the attraction, however. The songs always mean something, are never just words to sing for the song. But, the true attraction with Concrete Blonde was Johnette's voice.
She has a low voice compared to most female singers, and it is soulful and powerful. She hits the notes, and does it with great control and volume. It is as good a female rock and roll voice as there has ever been. If you are looking for a high pitched, cutesy little voice, popping along with peppy tunes, and a massive backbeat for dancing being the only memorable part of the instrumentation, pass this one by. If you are thinking Avril Lavigne, or Madonna, forget it. Think Janis Joplin with power and even more attitude, with great lyrics, and you are close.
What you have is exactly how most of us would put together a Chick fronted Rock band. Powerful drumming, blistering guitar, and a Chick with attitude, thrashing the bass while she belts out songs with a set of pipes you won't believe.