Let us thank Him for our food - Garth Brooks' new album
"Mom," in which a fetus converses with God, is no grosser than lead single "People Loving People," in which the title salve rids the world of evil. He hoists one up for the hard working zombies and de facto cowboys whose idea of paradise is a day out fishing. This song celebrates the road, that one the hearth. In short, the latest Garth Brooks album could've been released unobtrusively in 2002 after his last one, Scarecrow. So the significance question is up for grabs. What can it mean for the SoundScan champion to release an album in the age of austerity/sharity? With Brooks down to three co-writes, only two tracks (both brilliant conceits) hint at an answer. "She's Tired of Boys" flips "That Summer" around. Garth is now the older partner boinking a girl "full of college" while guitar fireworks replace the requisite sex scene and a second chorus simultaneously - so chaste, so horny, so Garth. And when that girl kicks him to the curb, he wishes he could be "Cold Like That." No, Garth, no, we cry. We want you standing inside the fire. But, of course, he can't be cold like that. He's Garth Brooks! He's just saying that to ensnare us/his next conquest. It's a tactic borrowed from The Cure, King Krule, Depeche Mode (who, after all, surmised that "People are People") and it fits him beautifully. So goth, so Garth.
And here's my slightly edited Addicted to Noise review of that silly billy Chris Gaines album.
Still – fun as it is to talk about at parties, it’s no fun at all to listen to. This was supposed to be his rock move but Garth Brooks already rocks much harder than Chris Gaines whose idea of crunch is ugly Wallflowers (“Unsigned Letter”) and cold as ice Foreigner (“My Love Tells Me So”). Every time I hear the revolting guitar shuffle at the beginning of “Main Street,” I’m reminded of how much an “organic” band can sound as stilted as a Casio preset. This should've been car-crash brilliant. But you just keep hearing the skid over and over. The only time you actually horrible wreck is on the properly hideous Cheryl Wheeler/Youngbloods mélange “Right Now.” There are works of art from Mae West’s swansong Sextette to The Postman to Slick Rick’s The Ruler’s Back that offer real pleasure while displaying enormous egos gone too far. Here I’m reminded that the alternate title is Chris Gaines’ Greatest Hits so there’s a way in which Brooks is trying to force the hands of time because he feels as if he’s losing his grip on it. It comes to us all, Garth; whether or not we find it funny or awful how time slips away is a different matter.
Labels: Garth Brooks