Music Reviews

Mysteries of Life

Come Clean

RCA/BMG

Powerful potent pop without pretense, this band probes the periphery of popular music. I like this band. A lot!

Born from the ashes of the psychedelic rock band Antenna, the Mysteries are led by the husband/wife team of Jake Smith and Freda Love. Freda can trace her musical roots back to the Blake Babies, wherein she shared venues with Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando. Recent personnel changes have added Kenny Childers of Velo-Deluxe on bass, Dale Lawrence of the Vulgar Boatmen on keyboards, and LonPaul Ellrich on drums.

This is great pop music, but is not fluff. The thirteen songs on the CD are cunningly crafted and expertly engineered. The lyrics are intelligent and the hooks are well-honed. The real stand-out is their cover of “That’s How Strong My Love Is.” The first time I heard that song was in 1968 on the Rolling Stones Out of Our Heads album. Just as the Stones made it theirs, the Mysteries have taken this obscure tune and made it their own.

This CD is fabulous. It certainly enjoys a place on my list of the top ten of the decade.


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