Tuesday, January 22, 2008
No. 333: Shoot Out the Lights
Band: Richard and Linda Thompson
Album: Shoot Out the Lights
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Um...
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Full of California sound nonsense and AAA-type fake grittiness, "Shoot Out the Lights" sounds like something modern country stations wouldn't even play. The almost-folk stinks and I had trouble listening to the album.
Best song: The title track is listenable.
Worst song: Oh, this album is bad..
Is it awesome?: Nope.
Often, an album on this list pops up and I simply have to ask "huh?" "Shoot Out the Lights" is one of those albums.
I don't know if, in 1982, this type of music was novel (my inclination would be "no" on that note), but nowadays, this record remains in the domain of mediocre country/folk hybrids a la the Eagles, James Taylor and the like.
Certainly, "Shoot Out the Lights" is harder and has some distorted guitar and more upbeat songs, but Richard Thompson's baritone is simple a Cash ripoff and Linda's vocal delivery is Bonne Raitt gone bad.
I'd love to deconstruct the lyrics, but I could not get past the music. Each time I listened, I just wanted the album to go away. It's not as bad as "Hotel California," but this one is up there for "worst album on the list."