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Jesse Malin
Glitter In The Gutter
Adeline/East West Records
www.jessemalin.com


Jesse Malin welcomed some famous friends into the studio for his Glitter In The Gutter release, including a well known duet partner for "Broken Radio", Bruce Springsteen. A glitzy guest list is worthless, however, without great songs. And Malin also has quality goods to display.

He covers The Replacements' "Bastards of Young" as a piano ballad, with words that weep over the poor prospects of a lost generation. But his rendering is at least one generation removed from when Paul Westerberg first penned the tune so I guess life isn't getting any better for the young. Poor bastards. Malin is equally angry about modern day bastards who are hell bent on holding back today's generation as he sings "Don't let 'em take you down" during opener "Beautiful Day!" His underlying philosophy is to live for today, rather than worry about the future. During "Tomorrow Night" he claims, "I must confess that I don't care about tomorrow tonight."

As a vocalist, Malin oftentimes sounds scarily close to John Fogerty, especially the way he curls his lips around the words to "Lucinda". Noteworthy guitar stylists comprise a large portion of this project's famous pals, which include Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) and Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age). Yet Glitter In The Gutter retains a consistent roots rock feel. His old friend Ryan Adams is also all over the CD, both vocally and instrumentally, but this disc's sonic leanings are closer to Stones' '70s electrified rock than to Adams' acoustic Americana.

By looking for glitter in the gutter, Malin is desperately searching for bright hope in dark times. And most of the time, he strikes gold.

-Dan MacIntosh


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