Sunday, July 30, 2006

Warren Zevon, Reconsider Me: The Love Songs

Warren Zevon
Reconsider Me: The Love Songs

Back when I first got Warren Zevon’s 1987 album Sentimental Hygiene, “Reconsider Me” helped me learn to use the fast-forward on my new Walkman. But this compilation of Warren Zevon’s “love songs” has helped me reconsider the song, for sure: Zevon’s voice now sounds more distinctive than off-key to my now more sophisticated ears, and the melancholy suits an older listener better. Unfortunately, the collection brings an unpleasant tonal overload, creating a portrait of the Zevon protagonist as self-hating, needy and even whiny. Still, juxtaposition can’t dim the quirky charms of “For My Next Trick I’ll Need a Volunteer,” the romantic richness of “El Amor de Mi Vida,” or the sweet frailty of “Keep Me in Your Heart.” And it’s hard to write about love without clichés, so I’ll chance one here: The one previously unreleased track, an acoustic recording of “Don’t Let Us Get Sick,” is worth the cost of the album.

By Pamela Murray Winters

Harp, June 2006

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