Look at All This
First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2005, Volume 12, #6
Written by John Metzger
On his fourth studio effort Look at All This, Howard Fishman returns with a new backing band, though the end result largely builds upon the genre-jumping approach of his previous endeavor Do What I Want. Thatís a good thing, too, since Fishmanís brand of post-modern pop is a unique musical hodgepodge that draws together an eclectic range of Americana-tinged styles to form a bizarre but cohesive concoction. Strange Woman, for example, begins as a variant of Robert Johnsonís acoustic blues before it mutates into something along the lines of Slim Harpo fronting a Dixieland band. Elsewhere, That Lonesome Road mixes country-tinged, spoken-word verses with rock-imbued choruses, while snatching lyrics from Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley; Decision crosses Mark Knopfler with Lou Reed; Small Talk flirts with a crunchy Neil Young-ish chug, though itís adorned with eerie violin and trumpet wails; and Someday dresses a Tom Waits-inspired, piano-driven ballad with the gentle accompaniment of a small string section. In the end, Look at All This isnít as immediately gripping as Do What I Want was, but its soulful reflections and midnight ruminations provide a veritable roller coaster ride across the emotional terrain of life and strike a seductive chord just when one least expects it.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box