Monday, March 3, 2008

No. 391: The Pretender

Band: Jackson Browne
Album: The Pretender
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Oh, please.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Again, Jackson Browne. I hate him. The music is boring adult contemporary nonsense. Save for the Eagles -- great friends of Browne -- this is my least favorite artist on the list.
Best song: Oh, please.
Worst song: "Here Come Those Tears Again" is terrible.
Is it awesome?: Nope.

With all due respect to this California sound nonsense, I'd rather stick a spear in my ear than listen to this.

There's something to admire in the character study-type stuff Browne can write. I can imagine other artists covering this stuff and making it interesting. The title track is an interesting thing, but I can't stand it.

In the interest of fairness, I'll throw a bit of Robert Christgau's review in here:

This is an impressive record, but a lot of the time I hate it; my grade is an average, not a judgment. Clearly Jon Landau has gotten more out of Browne's voice than anyone knew was there, and the production jolts Ol' Brown Eyes out of his languor again and again. But languor is Browne's best mask, and what's underneath isn't always so impressive.

So, yeah. There's that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you miss the point. Jackson Browne sucks because his music is too laid back. I blame Landau's production which as usual sucks [he can almost make Bruce Springsteen sound boring, whom I know you don't like, but I can't stress to you enough to listen to his best bootlegs]. Browne's best songs ("Running on Empty", "Lawyers in Love") are much more intense than the stuff here. I actually love the lyrics to "The Pretender" and even I admit the production is boring.