Top critical review
on 17 August 2008
Oh dear..... I remember being won over by the top-notch musicianship, dry witty lyrics & clever songwriting (along with his unique voice) when I first discovered Dean Friedman's "Rocking Chair.." album back in the early 80's. That particular album contained some wry observations & touches of humour (along with some poignant ballads) that really made me smile. I remember reading about his "Rumpled Romeo" album at the time.....but alas, back in those days (pre-CD) I had real trouble trying to get hold of a copy....
Fast-forward to 2008 (and the era of re-issued back catalogues) and I finally lay my hands on this album (complete with bonus tracks)......and I wish I hadn't bothered!
There's nothing on here to equal the genius of earlier work such as "Ariel", "The Deli Song", "S & M", "I've Had Enough" or "Woman of Mine". Instead, we have an album full of mostly cringeworthy soppy, saccharine, twee ballads that have dated horribly. Occasional stabs of humour like "Special Effects" had my toes curling skywards (it has to be heard to be believed!) and songs like "First Date", "I Depend on You" and "Marginal Middle Class" had me reaching for the sick-bag!
There is the odd moment to enjoy: "McDonald's Girl" is okay - and the 4 extra bonus tracks go some way to save this from being a complete disaster. But it's very much of it's era (70's schmaltz)....and should probably stay there!
Sorry Dean, I love you man and you're a clever songsmith - but I'll stick to your earlier work thanks!