Lonely People of the World, Unite!
Devin Davis’s Lonely People of the World, Unite! is half genius and half boredom. On tracks like the fiery and passionate opener, “Iron Woman,” he resurrects the soul of power pop greats like Big Star and The Replacements, tweaking the riffs and rhythms enough to make them his own; but it seems equally, as on “Moon Over Shark City,” that he’s likely to rely on the “timelessness” of tired garage rock power chord progressions, which are never self-revitalizing. Truthfully, when Davis ditches his guitar, or at least his electricity, his best songs shine through. The organ-ruled intro of “Turtle and the Flightless Bird” and the finger-plucked acoustic guitars underpinning “Cannons at the Courthouse” are moments that help propel the disc through its duller patches.
Interestingly, Davis’s vocals are hit-or-miss as well. “Iron Woman” begins with a great line: “It’s hard to live in a basement and not get carried away/when you’re a caveman on the pavement in the U.S.A.” The same can’t be said of the boy-band baiting of “Transcendental Sports Anthem.” Are there any of these even still around? At least he’s consistent in his inconsistency.
Finally, it should be noted that this is yet another of those “auteur” projects where the songwriter plays virtually every instrument him/herself. One question though: how is Davis going to unite the lonely people of the world when he won’t even allow them in his band?
Devin Davis: www.devindaviswebsite.com