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Big Smash (Remastered with Bonus Tracks)

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Album Review

It's entirely possible that the title to Wreckless Eric's third album Big Smash! was meant sincerely, it's entirely possible that it was an ironic joke — such is the charm of Wreckless is that both answers are entirely plausible. The thing is, the truth doesn't matter — as Eric reveals in the liner notes to the 2007 expanded reissue, he didn't even think of the title, merely chose it from two options offered by Stiff. Nevertheless, Big Smash! sure sounds like an attempt to have a big pop smash, something that Wreckless wryly admits with the opening "A Pop Song," a sly jibe at the record company asking for a hit, with Eric acquiescing to their demands with a song as sardonic and hooky as his one-time producer, Nick Lowe. But Big Smash!, overall, sees Wreckless Eric toning down his sense of humor considerably while tightening up his attack, which makes this a very different affair than the debut or his early singles. Those were wild, unruly, unhinged — truly, they were reckless, where this is just eccentric, but that doesn't mean it's tamed. In fact, a cleaned-up Wreckless Eric still packs a powerful punch, as evidenced by his rampaging cover of "Break My Mind," and the cleaner attack highlights his skills as a pop songwriter, capable of writing tunes that are as barbed lyrically as they are musically, but also capable of a surprising sweetness. It's hard not to draw comparisons to the Stiff alumni Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, since the music is reminiscent of Costello's new wave pop and his style is closer to Lowe's, but Eric is certainly his own unique thing, which Big Smash! makes clear in a way that his debut didn't. Again, clarity is the key here — the magic of the debut is that it was a drunken mess, but here there's no debris, just pure pop and rock & roll, and it's every bit as addictive as his debut, and it's more cohesive, too, so it may just trump it in that regard.

Customer Reviews

Better than anything

I am amazed nobody has reviewed this. It's fun and sharp in terms of lyrics; raw in terms of music. The points being made are still as sharp as they were way back when it came out. Anyone who can listen to the first verse of Whole Wide World without laughing needs, or has had, a lobotomy.

Wreckless Eric

One of the most underrated albums ever,lyrics and music are brilliant.

Biography

Born: May, 1954 in Newhaven, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Wreckless Eric gained notoriety as part of Stiff Records' highly eccentric roster of punk and new wave artists during the late '70s. With his whiny, slurred cockney voice, Eric couldn't always carry a tune, but that didn't prevent him from being an enjoyable, rough-hewn rock & roller with a clever streak. With his early Stiff singles "Whole Wide World," "Semaphore Signals," and "Take the Cash (K.A.S.H.)," Eric bashed out a series of ragged, chaotic, three-chord punk-pop singles driven by his...
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Big Smash (Remastered with Bonus Tracks), Wreckless Eric
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