First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2003, Volume 10, #4
Written by John Metzger
In the mid-1980s, Warren and Dan Zanes, performing as The Del Fuegos, crafted two critically-lauded, roots-rock efforts. But the band quickly became a shadow of itself and fell out of favor with both critics and fans before it quietly disbanded a few years later. Since then, Dan has gone on to create a series of albums geared towards children, while Warren has seen more than his share of legal battles tie up the release of his solo debut. While waiting for the dust to settle, he issued an EP featuring several of the discís tracks, but that package wasnít widely available, nor did it do justice to the full suite of songs.
Fortunately, hope is just around the corner as Memory Girls is slated for an early March release. The album is a hook-heavy extravaganza, full of songs that recall everyone from The Beatles to Beck, World Party to the Rolling Stones, XTC to The Hollies, and They Might Be Giants to Wilco. Indeed, if there is an album in recent memory that is as equally infectious and diverse, itís Wilcoís Summer Teeth. In creating Memory Girls, Zanes augmented a stellar band with a supporting cast that included Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, and Morphineís Billy Conway, and each contributed subtle shadings to Zanesí psychedelically tinged tunes. The real story, however, is Zanesí vision, which seems to have made a triumphant return. Without question, the increased clarity he gave this project makes it the most cohesive work heís done to date. But, if there is a problem with Memory Girls, itís that it reveals its secrets a little bit too easily, leaving little to discover on follow-up visits. Nevertheless, Zanes has created an album so good, itís absolutely impossible not to be immediately seduced by its shimmering pop sensations.
Memory Girls 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 © 2003 The Music Box