Saturday, August 4, 2012

#14: Hootie & The Blowfish - Cracked Rear View (1994)

I wondered how well this album has held up. It was kind of a big deal when it came out... Darius Rucker's distinct vocals carried the group to the top, but the quality of the musicians behind him kept them there. It's the 18th best selling album of all time in the US and reached number 5 times in 1995. That's kind of a big deal.

Hold My Hand
Not enough people talk about Hootie's bassist, Dean Felber. However, for me he's just as important as Rucker. Creating intricate bass lines in a pop rock setting that isn't boring but doesn't step on toes is an art and Felber nails it on this song. Granted, the big, booming chorus with the gospel harmonies carried this song for most listeners but the small details keep me interested throughout the song 18 years later. Wow, this album is legal... I feel old.

Running From An Angel
Probably the most underrated track on the album. It's a very different feel from the rest of the album with the use of bongos and violins but it fits as a good bridge song. Sometimes songs have bridges, sometimes albums have bridges... While it's not my favorite track in terms of the vocals, the music is super solid and the backing guitar parts are among the best - they're both inconspicuous and funky.

The best track on the album and I don't know how much airplay it got, but it just wasn't enough. The harmonies on the chorus are worth the price of the album. The guitar part isn't overly interesting but Rucker makes up for it with his beautiful baritone tone. Time also includes the best bridge on the album with the band shouting out "Time" back and forth with Rucker. The lead guitar parts throughout the album aren't awe-inspiring but they are incredibly tasteful and well crafted.

All in all, I'm surprised how well the album holds up. Granted, it sounds like a 90's album - there's no way that this album could come out today and do 1/5th as well as it did in it's time. It also doesn't do anything to push any musical boundaries nor does it really convoke any original ideas, but there's something to say for a group who can do something really well.

Tomorrow's album: The Crickets' The 'Chirping' Crickets (1957)

1 comment:

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