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Stephen B. O'Blenis
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Yet another sparkling gem, this self-titled album FINALLY brought the DiVinyls a portion of the acclaim and success in North America that all their albums should have received worldwide. Some have complained that the sound of this album is different from previous albums, ignoring the fact that "What A Life" was a bigger departure from "Desperate" than this is from "Temperamental" and that all the DiVinyls albums have a different sound from each other. Some have even called this a sell-out. Alright, I try never to tear down other people's opinions on albums or movies or whatever, even when they're trashing something I really love, but I have to take strong issue with this. First of all, the diVinyls NEVER sold out anything, and anybody who knows anything about all the ridiculous troubles they've had with various record labels for not going along with the trends du jour knows this. This is a band that during legal arguements with one record label that prevented them from profiting from any new material they put out for a few years, contributed new songs to film soundtracks and authorised the recording and selling of live "authorised bootleg" concert performances without receiving a cent so they could continue giving their fans at least some new material. And this is a band that has always exerted more say on record covers, music videos, and so on than most bands on overly controlling 'major' record labels. Second of all, at the time this album was recorded and released, most all that was getting major airplay on radio and tv was rap, grunge, and the 'modern' style of country. No disrespect whatsoever to any of those genres, but this album doesn't exactly fit those molds. Some hard rock was still getting major play, like AC/DC, KISS, Guns'N'Roses, and a few others, but this album actually sounds Less like any of those than "Temperamental", which was at least somewhat in that vein (and excellent). The fact is, the self-titled album was moving away from almost all major trends of its time, and the fact that "I Touch Myself" got significant airplay on this continent and "Make Out Alright" got a fair bit too is a minor miracle on par with Rammstein's "Du Hast" making it onto the mainstream airwaves in 1998.
Now that I've got that off my chest, I can concentrate on the album itself. It's a brilliant, stunningly sexy eminently classy and emotionally diverse masterpiece that gives huge credibility to the whole rock genre. "Make Out Alright" is the album's foreplay, as perfect an opener to set the tone as any album opener has ever been. "I Touch Myself" indeed has a double meaning (even if the critics were never able to see it), as much a spiritual rocker about how one gets to truly know one's own being by being in love with another, as it is a celebratory, non-self-concious, unashamed halleleujah to (...). "Lay Your Body Down" just soars with Christina Amphlett's trademark irresistable come-ons, generously garnished at the end with a dose of play-coyness. "Love School" is a slower and somewhat melancholy change of pace that still sizzles; "Bless My Soul It's Rock'n'Roll" is an energetic ride that is highlighted by Amphlett's vocal quirks and powerhouse singing throughout and Mark McEntee's exceptional lead guitar work. "If Love Was A Gun" is the saddest song on the album, but very powerful and touching in its theme of tender concern toward an ex-flame despite being the one left behind. "Need A Lover" returns the fun and the sexuality to the album with Christina's lusty lamentations to fairy godmothers, wizards and various other potential benefeactors to deliver to her a soulmate/bedmate. "Follow Through" makes use of an obscure instrument called a wah-tar to give the song its unique flavor, and is an inspirer in somewhat the same line as "Take A Chance" (off "Desperate"). This is followed, believe it or not, by a short piece called "Café Interlude" that is just accordion and background chatter and bustle in French, but actually fits in very well with the rest of the album! I guess it helps that I enjoy accordion music anyway; some rock fans probably don't and won't be as impressed as I was at its inclusion; I thought it was very innovative. "Bullet" follows - Chrissie's vocals are the highlight as with all DiVinyls songs but the unusual, extremely well-played drums by Charley Drayton are a close second, playing a more defining role than the guitars by McEntee, the fine bass work of Randy Jackson and the flawless hammond organ work by Benmont Tench. "I'm On Your Side", a very gentle, very powerful ballad, is simply one of the most beautiful expressions of love on any album, in terms of both velvet lyrics and soul-felt vocals, with outstanding acoustic guitar playing.
I can't help but close this writeup by expressing my deep appreciation for the CD's photo content, both on the cover and in the booklet. For those who can only see the front cover, the back cover and the interior pics of Chrissie are just as hot. The band's only other permanent member from day one, guitarist McEntee, is also in a couple of the liner photos; fine fellow, I'm sure, but his photos just don't have the same effect on me as the sight of Miss Amphlett decked out in Nothing But Net :)