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Album Review

Throughout his career, Brian Setzer has successfully led two bands that have explored, and expanded upon, specific areas of pre-'60s American music: the Stray Cats virtually created the rockabilly revival of the '80s and the Brian Setzer Orchestra mined and updated the big band swing and jump-boogie of the '40s. In both contexts, the prescient Setzer proved a winner, an inspired and knowledgeable craftsman armed with truckloads of sizzling, pinpointed guitar licks and terrific songs. On occasion he's chosen, with mixed results, to break out of those molds and piece together solo albums that extend his reach into more mainstream, albeit still retro-based areas of rock. His first, 1986's The Knife Feels Like Justice, was a left-field surprise that seemed to indicate that Setzer was primed to abandon, at least partially, his obsession with the past and to try his luck in the modern rock world. That didn't quite happen, as he returned repeatedly to the more familiar territory, but on 13 — so named because it's his 13th studio album of new material — Setzer once again branches out, and this time he's got the balance just right. 13 is stocked with 13 (of course) diverse tracks gliding easily from straight-ahead rock & roll (among the best: "Rocket Cathedrals," "Broken Down Piece of Junk" and the anthemic "We Are the Marauders," which declares that "American Idol is a bunch of crap") to slick instrumental blues ("Mini Bar Blues"). That doesn't mean he leaves the vintage Americana behind, but one of the album's strongest tunes, the hilarious "Really Rockabilly" (which includes Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom) leaves no doubt that Setzer's fed up with the many poseurs who've co-opted and diluted the style without having much of a clue about its origins or rebel spirit. Just to show them how it's really done, he unleashes a series of short-burst licks that provide a crash course in rockabilly guitar. "Don't Say You Love Me" crosses harmonic pop/rock with smooth rockabilly economy, and "When Hepcat Gets the Blues" walks the tightrope between Stray Cats and BSO territory. But although several songs touch on familiar ground, 13 is not intended to be, not does it feel like, a rockabilly or swing album. The opening track, the crunching "Drugs and Alcohol (Bullet Holes)" (it's anything but an endorsement of said substances) takes a look at the hard life of a high-schooler who's been through way too much, while "Everybody's Up to Somethin'," with its stacked Southern rock-style guitars, casts just about everyone into the role of no-goodnik. Setzer closes out 13 with the mostly acoustic "The Hennepin Avenue Bridge," something that might have felt at home in the early-'60s folk revival. Gotta keep 'em guessing, after all.

Customer Reviews


どの曲もむちゃくちゃかっこいいです。すばらしいです!。私の心の中にずっと残るアルバムになるでしょう。 しかもあのブライアンが「焼酎をもっとくれー!」と歌っています。俺にもくれー!どうしたらいい!?


思わず、ニヤリとします。 (昔ギターやStray Catsに夢中になっていた方なら)聴いていて嬉しくなるアルバムです。 ドライブに、仕事帰りや筋トレ後の一息タイムにもピッタリ。 お勧めです!


昔のペラペラグレッチの音から、少し太くなりました。布袋の影響か? 昔も良いですが、これも良いですね。曲も、すごく良い! さすが、ロックンロールキングです。


Born: April 10, 1959 in Massapequa, NY

Genre: Rock

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

Every decade has its own retro craze spearheaded by a true believer who brings classic sounds and style back into vogue. Brian Setzer performed this trick not just once but twice, first as the leader of the Stray Cats, the trio that brought rockabilly back into the charts during the '80s, then he helped popularize the swing revival of the '90s with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Both of these sounds were grounded in the '50s -- that's when rockabilly was born but also the heyday of the kind of jump...
Full Bio