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Album Review

Simply put, this is train-wreck music, music by and for ambulance chasers. Ed Hale and Transcendence don't seem to know what year it is musically. Imagine Sleep With You as the place where raw, inelegant lyrical confessionalism and irony (think a stoned linguistically restricted Rufus Wainwright meeting an Andrew W.K.) employ the razor-wire guitars and synths of Billy Squier and the hooks and amped-up drums of Cheap Trick and you get an idea of this luxuriantly wasted slab's sound. On top of this, there are songs that aren't so much songs as reports from the front of post-'90s decadence as proffered by rock & rollers who wish they were Bob Welch on the cover of French Kiss. Half the fun of listening to Sleep With You is trying to figure out if Hale is serious in his macho-tinged foppishness, which would make him _______ (fill in the blank), or if he's just laying the bad jokes out hot and heavy like Bill Nighy's character Billy Mack in Love Actually trying to cash in and get laid. From the overblown volume and lyrical minimalism of "Vicodin" to the completely dunderheaded fluff of "Superhero Girl," with its cheesy synth line and dumb lyrics, to the completely ridiculous "Minnie Driver," this feels like rock & roll from the Paris Hilton set out to lunch, out of time, and unconcerned about anything but their own vanity. So yes, it's deluded and occluded, but it still rocks like nothing else out there. Get it.

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Sleep With You, Ed Hale & The Transcendence
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