CD Cover Izzy Stradlin

Review by Michael O'Donahue

Were you in a tavern in Lafayette, Indiana -- Izzy's hometown -- and Izzy and his band were playing these songs while you scarfed down your burger and chugged your Bud, it would be a perfect little mid-west Americana moment. The playing is good, the arrangements are tight and the whole vibe is relaxed and friendly, which you wouldn't expect from an ex-Guns 'n Rose. But the album itself just never quite takes off -- it's laid back, which is nice, but it's laid back to the point sleepiness. Even "Memphis" -- a Chuck Berry song -- sits there like a stoned-out ex rock star. And if you can't pick it up with Chuck, drink some strong coffee.

Izzy's voice is a nasally but mellow bar-room drawl, and he never quite comes to life. "Old Hat" is a perfect fit, though -- it IS old hat, so why bother? (And boy, he sure sounds like Mark Knopfler on it.) With a little pep, a little zip, a little pizzazz, Izzy could have made up for his songwriting deficiencies, but, as it is, the album never catches fire, never jumps up and declares just why it exists. Neither crucial nor curious.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 11, 1998

Index | Search | E-mail | Info | Copyright

Considering copying some of the images from this story?
Please read this first. Thanks.