Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dwight Twilley Band - Twilley Don't Mind

Twilley Don't Mind (1977) ***1/2

Benefiting from the comforts of a real major-label studio, the sound and performances on the Twilley Band's sophomore slump are a considerable step forward from the debut:  the cavernous, slap-back echo feels as deep as a canyon.  However, it's still a slump because there aren't quite as many good songs as on the debut - at a mere nine tracks (one of which, "Sleeping," drags on for over six minutes) this one feels skimpy.  (And nevermind the bonus tracks, they're just alternate mixes.)  So the best songs appeal more by way of meticulously crafted sound than sheer hookcraft, not that the likes of "Looking for the Magic," don't boast good'n'clear hooks (should've been a smash followup to "I'm on Fire," - dig that "oh mercy," Elvis tribute intro as the fatback bass slaps into the angular guitar riff that constitutes the main hook).  But mostly you'll remember the caverns of echoes that constitute the sound when this album shuts off more than any individual songs - which might be problematic for a reputed pop album.  Which is to say that if I break this album down track by track, I come to the objective realization that only about half of these nine tracks rise to the level of 'really good' ("Trying to Find My Baby," "Here She Comes," "That I Remember," "Chance to Get Away") which is indeed mighty skimpy.  But I enjoy this album from beginning to end despite the thinness of the material, because the active band sound, production, and performances are so pleasurable.  Only the corny "Invasion," actively irritates me; I can even make it all the way through, "Sleeping," since there are some interesting ideas in there, despite the overall effect being draggy and boring.  In short, the Twilley to get is clearly the debut, and while this is a definite step down that shouldn't be your first choice, if you dug the debut, this second course is almost as fulfilling.  That is if the portions were as big as they are tasty.  Why pay for a fancy meal that's so skimpy on portions that you have to run down to Burger King for a Whopper to fill your stomach up?

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