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Ike Reilly
Salesmen and Racists
Universal


Once upon a time, there was a rowdy folk singer named Ike Reilly who really loved his Crown Victoria. The End.

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. JD

Track Listing:

  1. Last Time
  2. Angels & Whores
  3. Commie Drives A Nova
  4. Hip Hop Thighs #17
  5. Hail! Hail!
  6. The Assassination Of Sweet Lou Diablo
  7. Put A Little Love In It (According To John)
  8. New Years Eve
  9. Duty Free
  10. My Wasted Friends
  11. Crave
  12. Cash Is King
  13. God Damn Shame

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Mike Doughty



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