Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eric Salt and The Electric City - Please Say Yes (2013)

So there are many reasons that I am a terrible person, but here are a few:  1) I failed to review this album before the CD Release Show; 2) I failed to actually attend the CD Release Show; and 3) I failed to review this album after the CD Release Show but before Eric's birthday two days later.  

Well, better late than never.  Following up on 2009's The Hail Mary, as well as the first and only interview on this blog, Eric Salt and The Electric City are back with Please Say Yes.

The first thing that struck me was that this was a return to Salt's more Glen Echo-ish roots.  It's an energizing rock style that plays well with his natural talents as a storyteller.  He's a little more mature in voice than on previous offerings, but not in an unpleasant way.  This album shapes up as a muddy, 60's-rock styled hooky guitar affair.  You can hear the care and attention to detail in the production of the album when you listen to it through great headphones.  It really holds up well.

In terms of individual songs, "Stay on the Line" jumps out as a more deft approach from the band -- it's sparse but tuneful (I just make up words as I go along), with keyboard and vocal effect highlights.  "Women I've Loved" is the most Glen Echo-like tune (with a close second going to the earnest and what seems very personal "Please Say Yes," maybe my favorite song on the album), except for "Movie Screen"... which actually WAS a Glen Echo song.  "Last Man Standing" channels 38 Special, while adding a horn section.  And covering the criminally underrated "Whaddya Want from Me?" (often ignored in the telling of the Billy Squier canon) is just great.

Eric Salt and The Electric City - "Women I've Loved" 

In the end, this feels like a mixtape of the best songs Salt has written in the past four years, but it works (despite the drummer's mental problems, which clearly come through on the recording).  Two complaints:  1) no "Nine Times a Day" (and how this didn't make the cut is beyond me), and 2) the crowd noise on "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You," which just doesn't work for me.  (This is probably in part because I don't know the Bob Dylan original recording, but that won't stop me from complaining.  Oh no it won't.)

That being said... all in all, it's a great listen and an album I'll be revisiting again and again in the near future.

CD Placement rating:  Car CD Changer. 

- Snilch

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