Once upon a time, there was a rowdy folk singer
named Ike Reilly who really loved his Crown Victoria.
No, really. He mentions it in at least three
of his songs! That aside, Salesmen And Racists is my
favorite album of 2001. Reilly comes off as a sort of crass
and wasted version of (early) Bob Dylan who cheerfully
muses about his inability to bring his girlfriend to ecstasy
because he was too drunk and preoccupied with dreaming about
airplanes crashing into the ocean. The greatest strengths
of this album are Reilly’s dry and witty lyrics that range
from the subtle to the embarrassingly frank, and the equally
casual way in which he delivers them. His songs are easily
as wry and whip-smart as anything Cake has ever written,
without being so sickeningly pretentious. Coupled with his
appropriately talented bandmates, S&R's songs range
from somber introspection to invitations to party--littered
with the glitter of gold-plating and the allure of hard cash
and booze. All that would be well enough, but what clinches
this album's greatness is the catchy familiarity of the tunes.
I often catch myself humming them without realizing I was
doing so. It hearkens to a time 'ere 30 years ago when songwriting
could be gritty and pop-sensible. Often when writing reviews,
I have to play snippets of tracks on my computer to refresh
my memory of them while staring at the track listing. S&R's
songs are so memorable that I can instantly recall them while
writing this; they are truly that ingrained.
Were it not for its vulgar brazenness, it could
probably enjoy some pop success; but with lines like Last
time, I couldn't make you come or The prize that lies
between her hip hop thighs, it's not likely to get widespread
play. As it stands, it will probably be heard mostly by the
listeners of college radio, whom it seems to be written for
anyway. I'd like to write more about this album, but the secret
to its success isn't all that complicated. The world has heard
music like it before, but Reilly does it a little bit better.
- Last Time
- Angels & Whores
- Commie Drives A Nova
- Hip Hop Thighs #17
- Hail! Hail!
- The Assassination Of Sweet Lou Diablo
- Put A Little Love In It (According To John)
- New Years Eve
- Duty Free
- My Wasted Friends
- Cash Is King
- God Damn Shame
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