Glitter in the Gutter
Getting past the nasal, smoky coffeehouse vocals of Jesse Malin is the hardest step. If you can acclimate your ears to the Pete Yorn-y, Ryan Adams-ish folkster twang then you can settle into a good playlist of tunes by former the D Generation frontman. Helping you decide whether or not this once punk/now poet is your new favorite thing or some shit that you’ll toss aside and forget about are guest musicians Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Jakob Dylan (Bob’s kid… oh, and that dude from The Wallflowers), Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen.
Malin’s duet with the Boss, “Broken Radio” is the big song here. A ballad that will inevitably end up not only on mix discs (does anyone make those anymore, or are music blogs the new thing?), and easy listening adult alternative satellite radio stations… and maybe during a sad breakup scene on the latest WB TV hit. Aside from its obvious mainstream appeal, it’s a gorgeous, traditional rock ballad about lost love.
Jerking those tears can be good and all, but thankfully the next song “Prisoners of Paradise” is a return to ’80s rock ‘n’ roll in a big way. Assuming Bruce was still in the studio, this is the “Born to Run” track on the disc, and it’s maybe the best song on here.
Glitter in the Gutter calls me back time and time again, to sift through the average to discover sparkling moments of beauty, of which there are a few.
Jesse Malin: www.jessemalin.com