Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw & The Cooked (1988)


This is one of those albums that I feel I'm supposed to like, but don't.  It's got two former members of The English Beat, its got good writing, a soulful feel, I can even forgive the incessant drum machine.  But I can't get past Roland Gift's voice which, to me, sounds like a constipated Aaron Neville doing a drunken Elvis impression - I can't understand a word he's singing.  Bad singing isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for me (I like The P Furs, for example), but annoying voices are a deal-breaker which is why you'll never find a Rush CD on this blog.

I can admit that my prejudice is making me miss some good mod-soul music and that's unfortunate, but that's all on me, not the band.  The music was certainly was a breath of fresh air in 1989 when we were getting fed a steady diet of Milli Vanilli, Paula Abdul, New Kids On The Block, and Richard Marx on the radio. Rolling Stone gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, allmusic.com gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars, even Robert Christgau liked it(!) giving it an A-.  They could all get past the voice and good for them. The album was nominated for the Album Of The Year Grammy Award, understandably losing to Bonnie Raitt's Nick Of Time.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (7 consecutive weeks, June 3 - July 15, 1989)

Tracks: She Drives Me Crazy may contain one the most recognizable riffs of the late '80s and is definitely the highlight of the album.  Also good are Good Thing, Don't Look Back, and the cover of the Buzzcock's Ever Fallen In Love. I don't like Tell Me What, Don't Let It Get You Down, and As Hard As It Is.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

1 comment:

  1. "Constipated Aaron Neville doing drunken Elvis"... Good call. I hear that. They chose the singles well. I never cared for this album either.

    (I hate Rush too. Terrible voice.)

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