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Glitter in the Gutter

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A raw, modern record of thirteen stellar songs that feels like a celebration of life. Jesse writes about struggles and smiles; about finding ways to "keep on keeping on" with the lyrically intimate slice of life and detail he's known for, while covering a larger palate to connect with people in every part of the world. He conveys happiness and sadness in the same note, using both electric guitars and acoustics, modern keyboards and acoustic piano, power driven drums and happy jangly percussions with driving bass lines and big voice choruses, thus defining the ebb and flow of "Glitter In The Gutter". An energetic, infused, moving record with defiant and exuberant spirit.

Amazon.com

Glitter in the Gutter, the third solo album from Jesse Malin, finds the artist settling in to a comfortable groove, further cultivating the power-pop-with-a-touch-of-twang bittersweetness that was a staple of his solo debut The Fine Art of Self-Destruction. Straddling the line between country balladry and guitar rock, Malin gets support from guests Ryan Adams, Jakob Dylan, and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. There's plenty to like in uptempo rockers like "Prisoners of Paradise," and whether or not "Lucinda" was written for alt-country star Lucinda Williams, it wouldn't sound out of place on one of Williams' early records. "Broken Radio" stands out as a Springsteen-like paean to lost youth and rock and roll (the Boss even contributes a duet vocal), and a mournful, piano bar reading of the Replacements' "Bastards of Young" shines a light on the broken-heartedness hiding under the pissed-off teenage posture of the original. Ultimately, there's nothing especially cutting-edge about Malin's ruminations on wrecked romances and world-weary voice, but he has delivered a consistently tuneful and satisfying album. --Ben Heege
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Adeline Records
  • ASIN: B000MV8CRA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,671 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I can't conciously give this album a five star review, simply because of Malin's two previous solo albums. This album has some definite highlights, but also has some tracks that leave me scratching my head. The high points of this album are "Don't Let Them Take You Down," which is in the classic Malin vein and would fit in on either of his first two albums, "Aftermath," which works well with Malin's 'gutter rat' persona, and has a nice melody and solid lyrics. The best track is easily "Broken Radio," his duet with Springsteen. It's an enchanting song by itself, and Springsteen adds his beautifully, weathered voice to fit perfectly in with Malin's high pitched vocals. Hell, it's worth just to hear Springsteen sing the line "We never had a lot of cash, but we loved those kids" (a classic Springteenian line if there ever was one!). There are so other good tracks such as "Lucinda," and "Black Haired Girl" (with Jakob Dylan). The thing that sets this album back a little bit is that his first two albums were so good, that it kind of pales in comparison. Heat was a great album, and The Fine Art of Self-Destruction was a freaking masterpiece. Glitter in the Gutter has some tracks that are on par with those two, but has too many weak spots. To a casual fan, what was the point of "Since You're in Love 2007" or whatever the song is called now. The version on Heat was superior, although it wasn't even the best song on that album ("Scars of Love," in my opinion, takes that award). The lyrics on some of his up tempo numbers here are a little bit weaker than before, as if he was trying a little to hard to for commercial aspirations, and their arrangements leave me a little cold. The Replacements cover also kind of leaves you scratching your head, although Malin's performance is not bad, itself.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Following his impressive debut The Fine Art Of Self Destruction with 2004's gritty, impassioned The Heat, rock'n'roll outlaw Jesse Malin looked set for the sort of acclaim and stardom usually set aside for musical pal Ryan Adams. Pre-release whispers on Malin's 2007 album hinted that it just might be his great artistic leap forward - the one to take him over the top. On arrival, Glitter In The Gutter has in fact revealed itself to be a step sideways for the singer-songwriter. It's a solid enough (if uneven) collection of songs that doesn't quite hit the songwriting highs of The Heat, but also has enough standout cuts to commend it.

Spirited opener `Don't Let Them Take You Down' is classic Jesse Malin - invigorating rock music delivered with a street poet's flair. The catchy and carefree `Don't Care About Tomorrow' with it's sunny, infectious AM radio chorus, is even better, and sounds ready-built for good radio stations everywhere. `Tomorrow Tonight' and `Love Streams' are two more good quality rockers, and both would be worthy singles. The obvious highlight here though is `Broken Radio', a stirring ballad on which Malin duets with Bruce Springsteen - a man who is not only very much an influence, but also, more latterly, a fan of Malin's. With the added genius of Ryan Adams on guitar, it's a tune that really couldn't fail.

At times however, Glitter In The Gutter veers toward more forgettable territory. `In The Modern World' strives to sound contemporary and edgy but ultimately feels a tad generic, as does `Black Haired Girl' with it's cringe-worthy lyrics about "going for a ride... just like Bonnie & Clyde". Malin can do better than this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After two strong efforts that display his songwriting skills and emerging musicianship, Jesse Malin delivers a tour de force album that fires on all cylinders. No filler here--every song rocks with an urgency and appeal that will grab you and not let go. He mixes it up beautifully, changing tempos from song to song, but keeping the poignant, deeply personal lyrics at a consistently high level.

Things start out strong with "It's a Beautiful Day", which perfectly captures his optimistic-amidst-the-urban-jungle, classic NY rocker point of view which has become his signature. "In the Modern World" is fired by some rough-and-ready Ryan Adams guitar work, and gets the hard-rockin' Richter scale shakin'. "Tomorrow Tonight" slows things down just a touch, and displays Jesse's knack for wistful recollections of youth and while they make us the adults we become, sometimes you just have to let it go and be in the moment. "Broken Radio" gives us the much-discussed Boss duet, and frankly, anyone who doesn't dig this heartfelt ode to rock 'n roll is just missing the point.

Jakob Dylan contributes back-up vocals on "Black-Haired Girl", and we know this only because the liner notes tell us. The song is the real deal, but JD is blown out of the water by Jesse's passionate lead vocal.

There's a great piano and vocal cover of "Bastards of Young", the great Replacements song, a re-make of "Since You're In Love", and various other goodies. None of the weak spots we saw on "Fine Art of Self-Destruction" or "The Heat". I've seen Jesse live three times now, here in Chicago at the Double Door, and each time he shows a stronger mastery of his art as a performer.
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