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Dangerous Game

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Album Review

Apart from a failed reunion of the Shangri-Las in the late '70s, Mary Weiss has been out of the music business for over 30 years. Dangerous Game is her comeback and it's a darn good one, better than most would have expected. She and her band, the very good modern garage rockers the Reigning Sound, don't set out to recreate the Shangri-Las sound. They also don't go the other direction and try to do something modern or hip. Instead they craft a sound that nods back to the girl group era but also sounds informed by garage rock and good old rock & roll. The songs are built around simple melodies and tough but romantic sentiments, then delivered with a punchy, live sound. Reigning Sound leader Greg Cartwright writes most of the songs and he has a knack for hooky, tight rockers and aching ballads. All of which sets the stage for the most important question: do Weiss' vocals let down the side? Happily, they don't. She sounds undeniably older, but she also has the same essence of simple sweetness mixed with toughness that made her vocals so amazing back in the old days. The production makes her the focus of the record, and she never stumbles, sounds forced, or out of place. On the uptempo tracks like "You're Never Gonna See Me Cry" or "Don't Come Back," she rocks convincingly. On the ballads like "Dangerous Game" or "I Just Missed You," she exudes real emotion. The only misstep on the record is the cover of "Heaven Only Knows"; it's the only moment where you compare new Weiss to the old, idealized version. She comes off well, but it makes you nostalgic for the Shangri-Las instead of excited about her return. And this is a return worth getting excited about. As great as it is for fans of girl groups and the Shangri-Las to have Weiss recording again, the real test of a comeback record is whether it would be as good if it were by a new band or a bunch of unknowns. Dangerous Game passes that test with ease. One can only hope it's the beginning of a new chapter for Weiss and she keeps making records as solid and entertaining as this.

Customer Reviews

Mary Weiss Fronting a Great Rock Band....!

After so many years away from the music scene, and with such a hefty producer as Shadow Morton behind her in her heyday, it's hard to imagine Mary Weiss coming up with such a cohesive, uniformly good album, but somehow she pulls it off. Her comeback record is sort of the opposite of Ronnie Spector's (of "Be My Baby"/Ronettes fame) comeback a year ago , "Last Of The Rock Stars". Both are excellent records, but Ronnie's covers a wide range of styles, with a ton of guests (Patti Smith, Nick Zinner, Keith Richards, etc), while Mary keeps it straightforward, using one band and a cohesive sound the whole time. Both have their weaknesses (some of Ronnie's tracks fall flat, sometimes Mary's songs can sound same-y), but those are really minor issues. This is definitely the work of a band, not session musicians. The sound makes me think of the 60's without being a pastiche, and have a harder rock n' roll edge. Mary's vocals are (stunningly) almost exactly the same as when she was 15! Her voice is lower, and she doesn't belt quite as hard, taking a more subtle approach, but still, the effect is a bit shocking-it's Mary Weiss fronting a great rock band! Who wouldn't love that? (Oh, and I'll add in for the girl group fans, check out Ronnie Spector's late seventies rock n roll record, "Siren". It just came up on iTunes, and it's great! I mean, it kicks off with a cover of a Ramones song! What more do you need?) It's great to hear a record from another heavyweight of the 60's pop scene!

Mary Weiss Is The BOMB!

Mary Weiss is like family to me. i have been loving her since i was a kid. she has been missed so much. this lady is a living legend. Her sound is perfect...the voice is still there. This cd is her first in 40 years and her first solo ever! i am not sure why she went away after The Shangri-Las ended but to come back with such great songs is like a wish come true. "Break It To me One More Time" is haunting yet a song we can all relate to. "Stop And Think it Over" is my Fav track on here so far. she sings it as if she is telling him to think it over not asking him. Mary if you ever read this i hope you know how much you were missed and loved. THIS is where you belong. my heart is now whole. this is the best cd i have and heard in a long time! all hail Mary!!!!!!

simply amazing

I can't believe after all these years this is what came out of Mary Weiss going solo. Its just a shock for a veteran to come back so long after with something so brilliant. I was hopeful what would become of this album and have been waiting for it to come out and it far exceeded anything I imagined. Mary's voice is still distinct and like Ronnie Spector its still there. Its aged quite nicely so you get the old Shangri-las sound mixed with this aged prowess that only time could instill. I guess a lot of credit goes to Shadow Morton for recreating the sound that was Mary's before yet with a tinge of modern age. "Cry About The Radio" just puts the kids/younger musicians (like myself) in their place while "Stop and think it Over" will put them on their feet. Thank you Mary!


Born: 1948 in Queens, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '00s

Mary Weiss was just a teenager when she recorded some of the most iconic singles of the 1960s as a member of the legendary girl group the Shangri-Las, but it was nearly four decades after their run of hits had come to a close that Weiss launched a solo career, making one of the most talked-about comebacks of 2007. The Shangri-Las were famous as the "tough girls" of the '60s pop scene, and Weiss came by her tough side honestly; born in Queens, NY, in 1948, Weiss' father passed away when she was only...
Full Bio
Dangerous Game, Mary Weiss
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Customer Ratings