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on 8 April 2017
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Jesse Malin hit earth with the force of a very large comet in 2002 with the excellent "The Fine Art Of Self Destruction" packed with goodtime songs like "TKO" and "Wendy". He was in addition during that period "hooked" to the coat tails of the then red hot Ryan Adams who at the time of "Heartbreaker" and "Gold" could do not wrong. As a result he became championed by Uncut magazine and his album appeared on numerous year end lists.

Malin unfortunately has never really surpassed that moment and while making a number of steady albums its difficult to speak of any great advance or huge progression in his music. A sure sign of this is that his reviews on Amazon have been in terminal decline over the recent period suggesting that interest is waning. A shame really because "love it to Life" is by a country mile his best album since the "Fine Art" and while his influence may have waned his ability to attract star names continues with Ryan Adams, Brian Fallon and Mandy Moore (Mrs Adams) all guesting on the album. There is no real point giving intricate descriptions of the songs since they have generally a Springsteen meets Adams feel about them and some echoes of the Gaslight Anthem. The best are "Burning the Bowery" with its addictive chorus and the excellent Tom Pettyish style rocker "Disco Ghetto". That said there are other songs here which suggest that lyrically Malin has run out of steam not least of all "Revelations" with its naff chant of "Everything is gonna be ok/Gonna be alright/Gonna be ok", while "Black Boombox" is overcooked and just tries to hard. Consequently you come away from this album with a sense of enjoyment but not total satisfaction. Malin is clearly a "sticker" but he will need to find a new direction in the future to maintain ongoing interest particularly if he doesn't always want to be in the shadows of his more famous friends.
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on 12 November 2010
Confusingly Jesse Malin has 2 CDs called 'Love It To Life'. One is a live album, but the item you really want to head for is the studio album under the moniker of Jesse Malin & the St. Marks Social. If your rock tastes involve Springsteen, Westerberg, Petty or Thunders then you'll love the passion and fire on show in these 10 songs. 'All The Way From Moscow' fizzes with punk energy, while 'The Archer' is one of Malin's most affecting ballads to date. To my mind his best album remains 2007's 'Glitter In The Gutter', but this stuffed full of essential stuff too and runs it a close second in the Malin discography. Buy now to enjoy heart-on-sleeve rock anthems and quality songwriting!
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on 30 June 2010
Wonderful collection of true rock'n'roll songs of great quality. Jesse has stories behind each song and the depth resonates in the music.
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on 1 August 2010
Not a bad album from Jesse but not quite the standard of earlier ones especially The Heat which I thought was terrific. Some good tracks - Disco Ghetto, Low life in a High Rise being two - but a few unmemorable ones too. If you've enjoyed his other albums then buy this one too - it's more than good enough to warrant a purchase.
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on 31 March 2015
This guy can write great songs that are original which is not easy these days and has a brilliant voice. Just a class album start to finish.
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