Saturday, February 12, 2011

John Waite - Rough and Tumble

I like me some John Waite. Despite still never having listened to The Babys, I still play all his solo records with good regularity and the Bad English stuff still holds up (for what it is/was). I've never seen him live, but Missing You has moved into evergreen status in recent years, and the Alison Kraus cover couldn't have hurt any. There was an ok live record a couple years ago and a studio recording that was about the same.

2011 brings a new record, with a bunch of the tunes evidently co-written with a dude (but not the dude, if that makes sense) from Matchbox 20. Rough & Tumble, despite the profoundly homoerotic overtones of the title, is pretty good. It starts off strong. The first three songs would stand a chance of being singles if they still existed, quality rock tunes with big hooks. It's not rocket surgery, and our Mr. Waite has been doing it for years. When he gets off track and into cliches like the cowboy tale of Hanging Tree or whatever the horrible track with the spoken word parts about him going to see a dance performance is, I want to jam sharp things in my ears. Props are due for putting all the songs firmly in either the great or trite column(s). As such, 75% of these tracks I want to play constantly, the remainder make me want to personally request my wasted time back from Waite. It's your call, but if you liked John Waite before, you won't be disappointed by this one. If this isn't out already, it should be soon. Keep track of the tour behind Rough & Tumble (A-yo!) via the John Waite web presence here.


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