Friday, March 02, 2007

Review: New York Dolls - One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This

Label: Roadrunner

Released: July 25, 2006

You can draw a lot of parellels between the New York Dolls and the Rolling Stones. Both were more about swagger than technical talent. Both were kind of based in loose, sloppy blues. Both tried to present a dangerous sexuality, relying to some extent on androgyny. However, until last year, you couldn't say that they both outlived their prime. But, that was before One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This.

The album starts off with three straight misses. The first two just sound like tired old men going through the motions. A few "whoos" in "Runnin' Around" don't do anything to convince me that the Dolls are capable of doing much more than walking. At least by the third track, "Plenty of Music," they're admitting they're tired as they slow down to a walk (or crawl even). I guess they got a little winded pretending they were young on the first two. They must've gotten a good night's sleep before the next one, because "Dance Like a Monkey" has a lot of energy wrapped up in it. Riding on a syncopated rhythm, it's not a typical Dolls song which is probably its strength. If you can't keep up, it's better to leave the past behind.

The album continues on in similar fashion, mixing lackluster attempts to sound young and energetic ("Fishnets and Cigarettes," "Gotta Get Away from Tommy," "Rainbow Store") with souless tries at older, wiser relevence ("Maimed Happiness," "I Ain't Got Nothing," "Take a Good Look at My Good Looks"). There are a few other decent songs on the album that make it less than a total waste. "Dancing on the Lip of a Volcano" is catchy. "Gimme Luv and Turn on the Light" is a fairly average song that they hit stride with nonetheless. "Punishing World" probably comes the closest to their past greatness, but even it is a sad facsimile. Even the few high point aren't really that high though, so they do little to elevate the album above mediocrity. The Dolls are lucky that they came into this album with a lot of credibility from days gone by, because I think it has lead many to be overly generous with their assessment. But no amount of history makes a new record great and this is no exception.

Now, fair is fair, so I should at least thank the Dolls for giving us a 30 year break before dropping this piece of crap on us. The Stones, of course, weren't so kind. I guess the Dolls and the Stones still really are different. I'm also not so sure that one day they'll be so pleased to remember this one.

Rating: 4/10

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