Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Interruption in Our Regular Programming brought you by AC/DC

I am far behind in writing about discs I am listening to and tonight I had every intention of writing about a new viola d'amore-oriented-disc (I am such a tease!).  However, I got distracted by Alllison Stewart's Washington Post review of the new AC/DC album Black Ice. That is right AC/DC has a  new album out!

This is not a promotion for the new effort--I haven't heard a single track--and in some ways I am a little hesitant to talk about any album that is only being sold at "Wal-we will close a store before we give employees any voice by allowing a union here-Mart."  Still, this review just cracked me up and made me want to share.  

For those who can't be bothered with hopping over to the WaPo site to read the whole review, here are some highlights (which like the previews to a bad movie are really all you need to see), but I really should start by pointing out that Stewart assesses this album as the "best record the band has made in decades, and not only because all the other ones were pretty terrible."
Frontman Brian Johnson and guitarist Angus Young carry "Black Ice" on their backs: Johnson, now 61 (!), sings more and hollers less; Young, who seems more engaged than usual throughout, occasionally plays slide guitar. These might not seem like noteworthy developments, but for a band as resistant to innovation as this one, baby steps matter. [snip]

Its lyrics aren't worth mentioning, except to note that there are some, and they're the usual mix of cheerful incomprehensibility and innuendo-laden buffoonery. [snip]But mostly, "Black Ice" contains songs about rocking. Specifically, about how much AC/DC rocks, how much it's rocked in the past and how, if given the opportunity, it plans to rock some more in the future. Even the song about a wartime something or other ("War Machine") seems to be about a really rocking war machine. [snip]

The band's now de rigueur sex songs (forget "You Shook Me All Night Long"; AC/DC long ago stopped writing about women unless it had to) sound increasingly like Mad Libs: haphazard assemblages of a noun, a verb, the word "she" and a euphemism for "penis." [snip]

These, um, love songs are increasingly self-parodic, detailing amorous encounters so improbably hazardous ("She wanna shake you/No way to save you/She's got me shot/I'm fallin' ") you'll be tempted to wonder if anyone in the band has actually ever met a woman. They contribute to the dragginess of the disc's last half, as does "Decibel," the most generic AC/DC song of all time. "Black Ice" has 15 songs, which is about five too many: After its pulverizingly pleasurable first half, it's all filler and very little killer.

Someday I hope to write this entertaining of a piece about an album.

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

I love writing like this--it's like the music exists as a pretext so that someone can review it in this manner. Thanks for sharing!