Customer Review

30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steamy, greasy, raw : its grooves are tight but immediate..., 4 April 2012
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)
Between 1968 and 1972, New Orleans-cum-L.A. session musician Mac Rebennack transformed himself into Dr. John, The Nite Tripper.
He recorded a series of albums for Atlantic, most importantly "Gris-Gris", but also "Babylon", "Remedies", and "The Sun, Moon, & Herbs"; they seamlessly wove a heady, swampy brew of voodoo ritual, funk, and R&B, psychedelic rock, and Creole roots music.
The Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach admitted upon meeting Rebennack that he wanted to produce a Dr. John album and to revisit the Nite Tripper's musical terrain on record.
The pair worked in Auerbach's Nashville studio with a group of younger players to explore the rawer, spookier elements in Dr. John's music.
"Locked Down" is not an attempt to re-create "Gris-Gris", which remains his classic; it -- and the other three records -- resembled nothing that existed before.
Auerbach and Dr. John wanted to make a modern recording that drew on the spontaneous, more organic feel of those records; they succeeded in spades.
"Locked Down" isn't quite swampy, but it is humid, even steamy. Its grooves are tight but raw and immediate. Its lyrics and music are charged with spiritual energy, carnal desire, and righteous indignation. It melds primal rock, careening R&B, and electric blues in an irresistible, downright nasty brew.
The fingerpopping horn chart that announces "Revolution", is underscored by a fat baritone sax, an urgent, shake-your-ass bassline, and pulsing guitars.
Drum breaks are constant in accompanying Rebennack's screed against corruption, "religious" hatred, and violence, which degrade humanity.
His Wurlitzer solo is brief yet searing.
"Ice Age"'s guitar, drum, and percussion vamp are deadly infectious. Rebennack's voice growls about collusion between the CIA and KKK and the end of an era, as the McCrary Sisters complement the vocals with an R&B chorus line in affirmation.
His organ drones and wheezes to complete the picture, yet turns the last line into possibility: "If you ain't iced/you got the breath of life within".
The electric piano on "Getaway" sets up a funktastic, bluesed-out swing. The guitars and Nick Movshon's hyper bassline drive it urgently with clusters of surf-like chords, reverb, and effects, completed by a roiling, over-the rails Auerbach solo.
"Eleggua" is pure spaced-out Nite Tripper, a cosmic funky butt strut; its chanted mystical prayers come from the world of flesh and spirit; it's populated by slippery, watery guitars, wailing B-3, broken snare beats, and even a flute.
That feel is underscored in the nocturnal shift and shimmer of "My Children, My Angels", driven by Rebennack's Rhodes, guitars, and a skittering snare.
It's greasy yet somehow in synch with this love letter from a repentant father to his kids.
Rebennack and Auerbach send it off, appropriately enough, with rock & roll gospel in "God's Sure Good" and a joyous chorus from the McCrary's behind-the-lyric's gratitude, highlighted by a swelling B-3 and backbone-slipping grit.
No matter which era or what record you prefer, as an album, "Locked Down" stands with Rebennack's best. T. Jurek

Gris-Gris
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Comments

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Apr 2012 18:47:06 BDT
Yes ! ! I like this review by Thom jurek!
I give it my YES vote!

Posted on 4 Apr 2012 21:01:06 BDT
Simon B says:
Wow. Are you just cutting and pasting all your reviews from allmusic dot com?

Maybe you should be giving us your own thoughts on the record and not plagiarising somebody else's.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2012 17:36:45 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Apr 2012 18:00:51 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 04:08:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Apr 2012 04:11:31 BDT
Antun Rudy says:
Reviewers are not going to make history...this is only a little game invented by Amazon to sell the albums and other stuff...So, unless review is negative, please, let it it be!
Personally I prefer to read some good, professional comments instead of some meaningless stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2012 15:10:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Apr 2012 21:39:05 BDT
Simon B says:
Doesn't matter if it's negative or positive.

Up there, in big yellow letters, it says "Customer Review". If you want to read a professional review, head on over to the web site of allmusic, qonline, nme, etc and read it at source.

They've typed in "T. Jurek" at the end, but they've given no indication that this is the name of the reviewer on the allmusic site. If you didn't know better, you'd assume it is the real name of "absolute jazz".

If "absolute jazz" doesn't have anything original to say, they shouldn't say anything at all.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 20:37:44 BDT
Gizmophobic says:
What's the problem with negative reviews? I often find them more informative than the "this is great you'll love it" kind-that said this one seems ok to me but it is a bit weird if its being ripped from another source-still once your up your fair game.
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4.6 out of 5 stars (28 customer reviews)
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