Stop Handgun Violence, Volume 1
First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2001, Volume 8, #9
Written by John Metzger
One has to at least credit the music industry for coming together in an attempt to stop the proliferation of guns. In 1999, 32,040 Americans were killed in gun-related incidents. In each of these instances, it took a person to pull the trigger, but there's no question that this total would be significantly lower if guns simply were not available quite so readily. While gun laws might not solve the problem completely — there are far too many guns already out there — they have been proven to reduce the number of fatalities and incidents. No one can argue that this is not a good thing, though some foolishly will state that the answer is really a need for more guns.
Hence, the need for more education and awareness. However, it's rather unfortunate that the gun cause itself is the best thing going for Stop Handgun Violence, Volume 1, and nearly all of the tracks have nothing to do with the topic at hand. While most of the disc is perfectly pleasing pop plucked from a list of today's top-selling stars, such as Sugar Ray, Vertical Horizon, and Sixpence None the Richer, the truth is that like a box of candy it's sweet, but never truly satisfies.
Even worse, a majority of the songs on Stop Handgun Violence, Volume 1, such as Bonnie Raitt's fine, reggae-tinged I'm on Your Side, Cake's tripped-out power pop Guitar, and Cheryl Wheeler's potent folk-rock rant If It Were up to Me, were already available. Of those that weren't — with the exception of Fastball's stampeding, Who-fused, live rendition of Good Old Days, and Toad the Wet Sprocket's redundant but no less infectious This Is My Life — well, they sound like yesterday's leftovers. Do we really need to hear The Infractions' rendering of Sharing the Night Together or Jonathan Edwards, John Hall, Jon Pousette-Dart, and Dr. Hook turning in a cover of Why Can't We Be Friends? These are two songs that were annoying enough in their original formats, and here they provide the perfect target at which to shoot. As a result, Stop Handgun Violence, Volume 1 sounds more like a lackadaisical marketing campaign than a true collaboration for a worthy cause. Save your money, and make a direct donation. ½
Stop Handgun Violence, Volume 1 is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box