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More Songs About Me

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Album Review

Jim Infantino's first album as the alt-quirk rock band Jim's Big Ego is unusually successful in capturing the Zeitgeist of American culture, circa 1996. The first track reads like a manifesto for a socially conscious approach to popular music, decrying the self-indulgence of love song-besotted pop radio: "I've had it up to here with all these feel good ditties about how life would be much better if we ignored all our problems." But having demolished Top 40 radio, he goes on to dismantle the "alternative" culture that had become so dominant in the early '90s, including its ultimately conformist emphasis on nonconformity. "I don't want to sulk," he says in "Someday Café," "because that's so alternative and alternative is so mainstream." "Don't Look Down" seems to be an indictment of the social irresponsibility of Kurt Cobain's suicide and its potential impact on American youth. Concern for the current generation of teenagers (the chief consumers of pop culture) is, in fact, a recurring theme. "Butthead" depicts a generation living up to societal expectations of stupidity ("I know what I'm supposed to be/nine oh two one oh and bee-vis"). None of this would be nearly as striking if Infantino was still framing his cultural critique in the context of folk music with its 40-plus demographic base and its lingering hippie protest image. Instead, he's playing his rapid fingerstyle riffs not on acoustic but on electric guitars — distorted electric guitars, no less — and supporting them with big-time power chords. He's playing with sampling. He's employing drummers and bass guitarists. In other words, he's embracing — and perhaps improving — alternative rock even as he criticizes it. The ironically titled More Songs About Me (the songs are obviously about something larger than Infantino) is an inconsistent album that occasionally loses its focus. But there are several moments of brilliance, including "Lionel Say," a catchy condemnation of American materialism, and "Vandals," an abstract parable which makes fabulous use of Martin Sexton's unmistakable voice. The record has a vitality that is thoroughly commendable.

Customer Reviews

Perfect Lyrics

Jim infantino Is probably the best lyricist that i know. His music deserves to be heard. This album is great, as are all his albums. Buy it. : ).

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

This Boston-based outfit combines folky political consciousness with catchy hip-hop beats and a pop-inflected sense of humor. Songwriter/guitarist Jim Infantino, winner of the National Academy of Songwriters' 1995 New Artist of the Year Award, is accompanied by upright bass and drums on his thought-provoking groove-pop originals. As Jim's Big Ego, Infantino and a host of supporting musicians released More Songs About Me and the live album Titanic, both from 1996, and 1998's Don't Get Smart. Noplace...
Full Bio
More Songs About Me, Jim's Big Ego
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