Ugh, this album makes me tired. It's like, I dunno, a whole bunch of trying really hard to sound effortless. And it ends up plodding. It's the party that goes on an hour too long, the conversation that turns into a slightly irritated and spiritless argument.
Looking at the track running times, although "Pagan Baby" is alright, it's over 6 minutes. "Born to Move" sounds like it should be the theme song to a training video about molasses handling and runs for over 5 minutes (but sounds like 11).
Album closer "Rude Awakening" seriously makes me believe that in their minds these guys never left 1968 - didn't they learn that all this backwards tape gimmicky shit doesn't do a damn thing for their music? 'Freaky', 'psychedelic', and 'trippy' are three words that Fogerty ought to leave behind, not try to finally 'master', no matter what the prevailing winds are. And by 1970 they were not the prevailing winds.
Maybe this was John's idea of prog? And then, as if to mock me, the two best songs on the album - "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Hey Tonight" - both wrap up in a tidy 2:40.
"Molina" is okay for an over-simple 50's throwback (fine, but rock'n'roll wouldn't have been born if it had been that passionless) and that one's also only 2:44. There's no way a CCR song (other than maybe "Born On the Bayou" or "Heard It Through the Grapevine" on a good day) should ever run longer than 4 minutes max (this is Creedence, so no psychedelia - I've already discussed the band's guitarwork).
Oh well, "Hey Tonight" has a really snappy truck-drivin' groove and piano/guitar 'bong' passing fun; "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" is a nice Fogerty ballad sung with lotsa old-fashioned feeling. But fun and feeling are both missing from "Sailor's Lament", a dreary and near-melodyfree moan that belies lots of boredom.
There's a bit of a new sound here - the band like keyboards and horns on this one - lots of honky saxes and stuff that you'd think would be alright, but well, I miss the old redneck Creedence that wasn't afraid to play straight blues and country. Not that these guys are suddenly Yes or something, but there's a noticeable updating of sound (to what? 1965?) that doesn't quite sit right.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend this album very highly. It's a tiresome and draining listen, though I'd never say it blows. Green River
/ Bayou Country
/ and of course Cosmo's Factory
Posted: Saturday 26th Jan 2019 10:16 AM
Album opener "Heatseeker" is such a great song, and not because I have huge honkin' memories of flailing my little 12-year-old head about to it. It's fast! It's got all kinds of movement! Maybe it's not the band's best riff, or the most melodic song I've ever heard, but it rocks! AC/DC's songwriting is ALIVE again!
If Johnson was losing his voice last time, and covering it up in a bunch of distasteful reverb, he's now completely lost it. Screeching through all these songs, Mr. Razorcords just sorta blasts himself all over these tracks in a manner that most listeners would find 'annoying'. Makes my throat itch just listening to it. And that's probably the biggest negative about Blow Up Your Video
- "Ruff Stuff" for example, is simply unlistenable - clear your throat, Johnson!
A second problem is that - other than the hi-hat cymbal and godforsaken snare drum - I can't tell any of the different instruments apart in this mix. The two guitars sound like one big mushy echoey overdriven instrument, and there's NO bass unless he just lets some huge stick-out lick fly. Icky.
The third problem is the band's retard drummer - Jesus, that guy does the same four on the floor on every song here. I'm sure even I could drum better than that guy ... click-click-click-Boom-click! click-click-click-Boom-click! click-click-click-Boom-click! See, I'm the AC/DC drummer!
Still, some of the songs are interesting, creative even. "Meanstreak" is like, funk and stuff; "That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll" is another decent fast boogie, so the 'creative' tag doesn't apply for that one - anthemic chorus, dull verse. And that, with "Heatseeker", makes two fast-ass tracks, something to be thankful for at this late date for AC/DC.
"Nick of Time" is sorta complicated and Rush-sounding in places (maybe not, but I'm sticking with that impression). In contrast, "Some Sin for Nuthin" isn't complicated, but it sounds kinda unsettled, like in the way the beat keeps heaving along and turning around. I like it, it's different.
Likewise "Two's Up", which is even sorta 'dark' and 'dramatic' if you know what I mean, and although Johnson sounds like a muppet, listen to the cool guitar lines, the solo, and the backup choruses ... whee! And "This Means War" is fast and catchy ... double whee!
"Go Zone" however is a duffer track, and "Kissin' Dynamite" is boring. "Ruff Stuff" I already mentioned, Johnson sounds awful on all those songs. Overall though, it's not a bad batting average.
Posted: Sunday 17th Feb 2019 9:21 AM