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Sparkle In the Finish

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Album Review

If anything, Sparkle in the Finish proves just how wrong the major label execs were about Ike Reilly when they dropped him shortly after the 2001 release of his super Salesmen & Racists. If this offering eases away from the hip-hop tinge of that disc, it finds the Libertyville, IL-bred singer/songwriter excelling at infectious rock & roll ("Garbage Day"), story-built balladry ("Ex-Americans"), and Beck-styled rhythmic thumping ("I Don't Want What You Got [Goin' On]"), whether he's pondering a fling with a toll-booth attendant or asserting his desire for cash and accolades. If the heartland stomp of "Whatever Happened to the Girl in Me?" seems a little out of place, one suspects that's Reilly's point — expect the unexpected. Fusing appealing melodies, expressive lyrics (like "Jerry Lee Lewis with his balls on fire/In the back of a Rocket 88/With an out-of-state plate/And an underage date"), and a crack backing band, the Ike Reilly Assassination is an outstanding group and Sparkle in the Finish shines from start to finish. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Sparkle In the Finish, The Ike Reilly Assassination
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