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Enjoyable If A Little Slight
on 6 August 2006
With the benefit of hindsight i think it's easy to see that with Mistrial Lou was perhaps venturing a little too far in his pursuit of an eighties sound. Unlike the perennial sounds of the sixties and seventies the eighties production values sound incredibly dated today despite the fact they are much more recent.
Mistrial (production values aside) generally isn't one of Lou's most inspired albums - in fact many of the songs seem a little insubstantial but i still find it an enjoyable listening experience all the same.
Songs such as 'No Money Down', 'The Original Wrapper' and 'Outside' are not meant to be any more than fun musically (although a couple of them have social implications lyrically) and although they are a little slight they fulfill their objective perfectly.
The real highlight of the album for me though is the closing track 'Tell It To Your Heart' which is not unlike 'Coney Island Baby' in terms of mood (in particular the doo-wop backing). It's a ballad of great beauty.
In some ways lyrically 'The Original Wrapper' points the way to the socially conscious songs on New York.
To sum up Mistrial lacks too much substance to be amongst Lou's best but for entertainment value it works just fine.