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.
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