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Knock On Wood
on January 7, 2003
Brilliant, dorky, drunken & nostalgic as a cryrogenically frozen martini, this is the ultimate Lee Hazelwood collection to date. If Sinatra had deigned to go Country to alleviate his flagging late 60's career, he would have called on Lee Hazelwood."After Six" could've been the hungover, morning after sequel to "One For My Baby".
"The Old Man & His Guitar" brings vintage Leonard Cohen to mind. "Jose" is so god awful, it gives Elvis Presely's theme song to "Charro" a run for it's money. But therein, lies the fun of it all. If camp were an art form, then Hazelwood has accidentally stumbled on it.
What's great about Hazelwood's cheescake trappings are the universal truths he hacks up despite the canned production. Loneliness, longing, & woe---it's all there. Behind it all, is a balladeer who knows his craft, despite the smaltz. The horns may be goofy but if you strip it down, "When a Fool Loves A Fool" is a great song, worthy of a fashionable makeover cover. That being said, I wouldn't change a note of "Child". "Hands" is as maudlin as it gets, then this rambunctious piano cuts in and saves the day.
Superficially, one would say this is vintage kitch with it's tongue firmly lodged in cheek. A number of listens & it's more than you bargained for. To quote the liner notes on the back, " It's not rock, it's not country, not quite lounge-it's unique. "
All it takes is a talented, imaginative listener & this collection is a bit more than a soundtrack to a 1969 issue of Playboy. But if that's all you get from it, atleast you'll have fun.