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Come Feel Me Tremble
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Yet Westerberg on a bad-production day is better than most artists at their commercially slickest. The sincerity of his guitar riffs shines through; his clever lyrics keep your ear to the speaker in order to hear the words through the fuzz. He's always one to come up with great play-on-words song titles (Soldier of Misfortune, What A Day For A Night). Although he throws off the material like it doesn't matter, it's apparent his heart is in his work. In their minds, some fans are probably still hoping that buried in Westerberg is an album that combines the energy of the Replacements with with the maturity of a 40-something skilled artist. "Come Feel Me Tremble" is not that album, but it is a good portrait of a man who's still a rebel without a clue but with a lot to say. Airplay will probably elude him, but in today's over-hyped and over-commercialized music scene, Westerberg's continues to be the real thing.
Now, left to his own devices and two indie labels - Fat Possum & Vaugrant - Paul seems to be making records by himself and in his basement, which leads to a homey sloppiness. I dont mind that. The looseness of the Replacements and of some of their contemporaries (Husker Du, Soul Asylum) and their influences (Faces, Stones) was one of their strongest attributes.
There are some wonderful songs here - but the tone seems of Come Feel Me Tremble feels too close to the Mono/Stereo albums to me. Dead Man Shake by Paul's alterego Grandpaboy seems different enough to make it much more interesting to me. Perhaps having the framework of making a semi-blues album for a semi-blues record label gave him enough structure to put that record on top. And much as I love the Jackson Browne song "These Days" on CFMT, the covers by Hank Williams and john Prine on Dead Man Shake are, again, better.
Sure am glad I got over my wimpiness, because "Come Feel Me Tremble" was just what I needed. A kickass, basement recording that feels like a live club gig (remarkable, when you consider that Paul probably played everything himself), "Tremble" delivers everything we want from Paul - intelligent lyrics, killer hooks, wordplay, strangled vocals - only he lets his anger and joy spill out onto every track. Each cut is killer, rockin, sloppy as hell, and pure rock and roll.
Speaking of strangled vocals - Paul's voice isn't getting any better, exactly, but it's an amazingly expressive instrument. Oddly enough, he seems to be channeling Frank Black at times, which is only fair, since Black is a disciple. Hearing him struggle for the harmonies and high notes is painful sometimes, but then again, Paul's all about sharing his pain with his audience. Check out "Tremble" and feel a real man's pain.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although it took me a while to appreciate this one, it's Westerberg's best solo album. Admittedly, I gave up on Westerberg after Stereo and didn't listen to him again until 2013,... Read morePublished 18 months ago by A. Chan
a good collection of songs by a great song writer - gritty, raw world laid bare by the song smith Paul WesterbergPublished on July 22, 2014 by ken
You listen to this album and you are reminded of what an incredible songwriter Westerberg is. These are all part of the Westerberg/ Mats formula so you feel like you have heard... Read morePublished on November 13, 2011 by Robert
You got your Bob Dylan, your Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson. The pantheon, got it. Well to my mind, Westerberg slays the lot, just knocks 'em down. Read morePublished on June 1, 2009 by Michael S. Mahoney
Come Feel Me Tremble is the wrong title for this cd, and this miscalculation on the choice of title phrases doesn't bode well for an album that has its fair share of beautifully... Read morePublished on January 20, 2006 by Paul Montag
Rejecting studio glossiness in favor of being authentic and honest is all well and good in theory. But if you take it too far, you stop gaining authenticity and honesty and just... Read morePublished on August 21, 2005 by John M. Abbott
Much like the simultaneously released "Dead Man Shake", this album is loose and Paul is just letting it flow. Read morePublished on September 21, 2004 by Mac6uffin
Every time I listen to this cd it reminds me of the time my cousin and I were driving around the back roads of Forks, Washington and when I turned around, my rig slid off the road... Read morePublished on May 3, 2004