Posted by: kubiakl | October 1, 2009

Lovely Creatures

Bob Schneider released his new album September 29th.  Lovely Creatures pretty much sounds like a relaxed show at the Saxon – but toned down.  For those who missed the feature a week or so ago in the Statesman, this record comes after some major life changes for Bob.  He got married, got sober, became a father, and got divorced.  You can hear how hard it was on him throughout the album.  At the same time there’s the sound of hope (probably the fatherhood thing).  It’s a good mix.

Something that threw me was the absence of… well, full frontal Bobness, for lack of a better word.  Lyrically he’s solid, but safer than he’s been in the past.  No more lines like “I was broke down in Mozambique with a Puerto Rican speed freak”.  No more songs discussing the size of god’s genitalia.  None of the hip-hop style that would show up in his other recordings.  And really surprisingly – no f-bombs.  Bob’s not known to shy away from dropping fucks whenever he feels like it.  Some people would say that this is his way of trying to become more radio friendly, but I’m not that cynical.

None of the above was meant as a criticism.  It’s just an observation.  My opinion: it’s a great album.  That’s probably a little biased, since I’m such a fan, but I have some reasoning to back it up.  Let’s say I had never heard of Bob Schneider and someone gave me this album.  I would immediately be able to get into it – the cliched term “accessible” applies.  It is a really listenable album with confessional songwriting.

He also digs through some of his own past for a few songs.  This album features the first studio recordings of “Tarantula” and “Bombananza”, both staples of his live shows.  “Change Your Mind” is taken from his album of demos When The Sun Breaks Down On The Moon.  “The Bringdown” has been played at his live shows for a few years as “Bring The Rain Down”.  “Bicycle Vs. Car” has been available as a demo track on his website for a while now.

If you’re new to Bob, this isn’t a bad album to start with (I would also grab I’m Good Now).  So far my favorite tracks are “40 Dogs (Like Romeo And Juliet)”, “Bicycle Vs. Car”, and “The Bringdown” – but there are no throwaway tracks.  It’s filler-free.

* And in a complete coincidence, I just turned on my morning radio to hear Dudley and Bob (KLBJ FM’s morning DJs) discussing the album.  Apparently they think it’s his best work since his first solo release, Lonelyland.  I won’t go that far, but I will say it’s his most consistently solid album since then.

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