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A Word to the Wise Guy

The Mighty Wah!

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Album Review

Becoming increasingly bored by the rock-based indie scene of the time, Pete Wylie started with a rock & roll record and ended up with something entirely different for the proper follow-up to 1981's Nah = Poo. Incorporating funk, soul, reggae, and gospel, in addition to lumping on brass and string sections of the real and synthetic varieties, it came as no surprise that A Word to the Wise Guy took a long time to complete and involved philosophical scraps between all of those in the studio. Dropped by Warner Bros. for not having any hit potential, Wylie and company wound up with a fresh start on Beggars Banquet. Attempts at gospel ("The Story of the Blues"), reggae (the incidental "Yuh Learn"s), soul ("Everwanna," "What's Happening Now"), flag waving Boss rock ("Come Back"), and inexplicable hybrids of any combination imaginable ("Papa Crack/God's Lonely Man) have all of the required spirit but none of the lasting value. Chalk it up to wanting to do too much, aiming to make a massive-sounding record that doesn't quite make it. Since it sounds very of its time, A Word to the Wise Guy is one of those "you had to be there" deals. For all his boastfulness and overbearing iconography, Wylie should be commended for never being a mope and also for never approaching complacency. Regardless of the mixed results here, Wylie has passion and intensity through his marrow. Like the other Wah! reissues released by Castle in 2001, numerous bonus tracks are scattered, as well as track-by-track commentary from Wylie and numerous photos and press clippings.

A Word to the Wise Guy, The Mighty Wah!
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