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Flash Light

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Irs IRS-42050: Flash Light by Tom Verlaine

Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Irs
  • ASIN: B003N6FEHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I love this record. I like Television but I really think Tom Verlaine's solo output is scandalously under-rated. When this was released in the mid-80's the music scene was a tad dull with little for anyone who needed challenging to get their ears round.
'Flashlight' has it all. Tracks such as 'A Town called Walker' and 'Cry Mercy, Judge' are true rockers with the wit and paranoia you expect from Verlaine. 'The Scientist writes a letter' is a different fish altogether; a study of the end of an affair wrapped into an innocuous sounding letter with a strange atmosphere. Excellent.
The second side (as was) starts with the core track 'Bomb' where the usual pop/rock notion of 'we can work it out, baby' gets inverted into a black hole of hopelessness, as the writer realises there really is no way back into the relationship. A warped and acid display.
The other tracks are also very good. I'm not going to analyse them all here but if you like food for thought with your rock tinged with psychedelia and guitar work as taut as cheese wire, then buy this CD!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It was a shock for me when this album disappeared, unheralded. The writing is great, with an informal jokiness you never found in that decade. The guitar is simply fantastic - original, with great whammy-bar shimmers and beautiful solos. And the lyrics are deep and touching. The snare drum is typical '80s (sounds like small arms fire) but overall this album had soul in a very chilly era, sonically speaking. This is also a perfect example of an album that has great variety without sounding like a mish mash. A countrified tune, a U2-ish song, a dance-y track, man this one has it all. If you like intelligent writing you'll love this album, and for once the musicianship is there too! Run - don't walk! - to get this disc.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Rate it 10 stars! I missed this one in 1987, and finding it now is truly a gift. Tom Verlaine has never been stronger vocally, lyrically or instrumentally, with superb backup by Fred Smith, Jimmy Ripp and Allen Schwartzberg. On first playing, the songs synched right into the grooves worn into my brain by repeated listening to TV's Marquee Moon when it first came out, and pushed me right over the edge into euphoria. Listen to any one of the cuts, and see if it doesn't send you there, too. Try "Cry Mercy, Judge," and if that doesn't quite do it for you, move on to "ATown Called Walker," "At 4 A.M.,' or "Annie's Tellin' Me." Dancing on the edge of perfection...guess the friends who worry about me when I tell them Tom's lyrics make perfect sense to me can start worrying again! Don't miss this album--one hearing and you'll be "falling in love again...can't help it."
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Format: MP3 Music
Robert Wallace(The Treasure-House of the Soul on Kindle): There is the nice, tight feel of a real band playing here--two guitars, bass and drums--no unneeded embellishments just a kind of punkish energy with great guitars, Verlaine's distinctive vocals and lyrics which seem often cryptic and elusive. Some reviewers have lamented the 80's sound here. It's true, it does sound like 80's music but all I can say is that it's too bad that not all 80's music had this drive and intelligence and sounded so interesting. There are moods of paranoia, isolation and alienation, themes of miscommunication, yet throughout it all Verlaine sounds like he's enjoying himself. I especially like three songs on side two--At 4 a.m., The Funniest Thing and One Time At Sundown--all three songs have almost conventional choruses and song structures and an odd and effective mix of what I'd call a kind of nervous New York artsiness or self-consciousness and a mid-West or Southwestern lyrical feel between the alternating guitar styles. The last thing I'd like to add, hoping I don't put too many people off with this, is that it's struck me the last couple of times I've listened to this I've found an odd kind of mirror effect between some of the songs here and Robbie Robertson's Somewhere Down the Crazy River--that each is almost a distorted reflection of the other--too bad some of the songs here don't get the same airplay.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tom Verlaine is justly celebrated and regarded as one of rock's best and most innovative guitarists who has a gift for improvised guitar solos and interplay with other like-minded guitarists, best demonstrated by his work in the seminal NYC band Television with Richard Lloyd. His solo albums and songs are much less consistent, but also show his talents in spots. At the same time, Verlaine's songs are often idiosyncratic, whimsical, inscrutable, and almost determinedly anti-commercial, much like his interviews and persona, severely limiting his audience and sales of his recordings and concert tickets and have restricted Verlaine to fringe/cult artist status. "Flash Light", first released in 1987, represented a significant change in his songcraft and album production. Almost all of its songs were melodic and energetic with some actual hooks and beats and relatively effervescent; the abstract quotient was also markedly reduced, although not eliminated, and over half of the tracks would not have been out of place on pop-rock radio. Some songs, notably "The Scientist Writes A Letter", "A Town Called Walker", "Song", and "At 4 A.M.", have lyrics that communicate directly to the listener with intelligence and emotional resonance. Verlaine's renowned electric guitar playing fortunately did not suffer, and all of the songs on "Flash Light" featured innovative, intelligent, energetic guitar work that compares favorably to his playing on Television's seminal albums and his solo recordings. The guitar playing is not superficial flash or shredding, though, like the playing of many better-known guitar virtuosos, but services the songs well.Read more ›
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