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Songs We Should Have Written

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 24, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Firewater ~ Songs We Should Have Written

For their fifth album, Brooklyn's Firewater has brought forth a set of covers. Led by bass player and vocalist Tod A, he provides accompanying commentary on why he was drawn to each of the eleven tunes. Except for one, all of the songs are united, in their original form, by a potent emotional voice. This allows Tod's ragged baritone plenty of room to punch and kick against the solid rough-hewn rhythmic underpinnings. The aforementioned exception is Sonny Bono's "The Beat Goes On," which, as written, eschewed depth of character for slight but bright lyrical subservience. Appropriately, Tod was attracted to this number because of its bass line, one of the first he ever learned. Album highpoints include a venomous take on the Beatles "Hey Bulldog" which amp things up at the midpoint, and a dreamy version of Robyn Hitchcock's "I Often Dream of Trains" which brings the disc to a quiet close. --David Greenberger

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Beat Goes On
  2. This Town
  3. Diamonds And Gold
  4. Folsom Prison Blues
  5. Storm Warning
  6. Hey Bulldog
  7. Some Velvet Morning
  8. This Little Heart Of Mine
  9. Paint It Black
  10. Is That All There Is?
  11. I Often Dream Of Trains

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jet Set Records
  • ASIN: B0000D8L3N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,942 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Firewater has always been a chameleonic group of guys, with each of their four studio albums sounding almost nothing alike while retaining a very specific feel that can only be done by Tod A and his crew. For their fifth album, Firewater covers a wide variety of artists, some well known some not so well known, and have definitely returned to the very dark feel of Get Off the Cross...We Need the Wood for the Fire. You won't find too many of their more up tempo tracks along the lines of "So Long, Superman," "Dark Days Indeed" or "Get Out of My Head." This is by no means a bad thing, as their dirge-like styles suit so many of the covers they have chosen.
The album begins with the slowly paced Sonny and Cher cover "The Beat Goes On," featuring Britta Phillips in a duet with the distinctive voice of Tod A, making for an excellent contrast in sound. It is followed by the first of two songs written by Lee Hazelwood, "This Town," featuring an excellent guitar solo from Oren Kaplan. Things really pick up with their reworking of Tom Waits' "Diamonds and Gold," a slightly sunnier song featuring some nice marimba and violin parts.
The cover of Cash's masterpiece "Folsom Prison Blues" comes next. It's amazing how the addition of some minor bass arpeggios and guitar chords can make a song sound so dark and evil. Tod's voice sounds great on this track. What follows is the most upbeat and cheery song on the album, the instrumental cover of Lyn Taitt and the Comets' "Storm Warning." It's reminiscent of their Ponzi suite instrumentals, featuring excellent horn work from Ori Kaplan.
The Beatles' "Hey Bulldog" is next, which is simply an excellent track in every way.
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Format: Audio CD
Firewater brings to the table their brand of gritty outlaw country mixed with spaced out psychedelic rock on this collection of interesting cover songs. Their version of Folsom Prison is the highlight of the album in my opinion, and other songs like some velvet morning and the first song on the album make you think they might just be the coolest band around. If only everyone liked bands like this then maybe all this tween wave "crap" wouldn't be so popular.
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