Culling The Herd: The BoDeans

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The BoDeans, “Home” – 3 stars.  Hold it.

The BoDeans, “Outside Looking In” – 3 stars.  Hold it.

 

I had some misgivings about these and didn’t really want to listen to them again…I remember liking them quite a bit when I first got it (what?  15 years ago?  20?), but lately when the songs come up on shuffle I generally skip them.  They’re both typically described as “roots rock,” whatever that means.  Midwestern, I guess, guitar guitar bass drum, spare production, plaintive lyrically, all of which are fine but didn’t really fill me with anticipation.  Just my mood, I guess, not that I know what I mean by that.

But – and this is a nice byproduct of this go-through-every-song project – they hold up a little better than I expected.  Both have some terrific songs – “Home” has “When The Love Is Good,” “Good Work,” “Worlds Away,” and “Brand New.”  “Outside Looking In” has “Dreams,” Say About Love,” “Only Love,” and “What It Feels Like.”  All of those are definite keepers.  Some, however, are terrible.  “The Ballad of Jenny Rae” is a perfect example – melodramatic at the least, maudlin at the worst, it’s topped by Sammy Llanas weird, nasally voice that’s fine as a backing but unlistenable as the lead.  “I’m In Trouble Again” is a similar exercise.

So, the high spots mean that I keep most of them, but some of them get cut.