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CD Reviews: Review of Crimes of Passion by Big Head Todd and The Monsters
Red Rocker Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Crimes of Passion (2004)

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Remember back when a good song was a good song was a good song? Remember when a good rock song wasn’t any more complex than a broken heart or unattainable lust? The songwriting teams of Jagger/Richards and Tyler/Perry didn’t build careers on force-feeding political opinions or social awareness or anything deeper than what makes a hot girl hot. I miss that. I mean it is still acceptable to think women are attractive, isn’t it?

Big Head Todd and The Monsters have gone over the top on their latest Crimes of Passion to embrace the lost art of writing lusty rock songs. “She’s gonna shock me now when she turns it loose, she’s got my electric house rockin’ now on her dirty juice,” Todd abounds on the opener “Dirty Juice,” as stripped-down and frenzied a riff-heavy ode to past rock icons as I’ve heard in sometime. Crimes represents BHTM’s seventh studio venture, and while they choose not to wander very far from the established course, the delivery of most of this record is soulfully vibrant and pleasing. The good songs here, in short, are plenty good. The brooding “Conquistador” recalls the Sister Sweetly era more than anything else, while “Angela Dangerlove” goes a long way to flaunt Todd Mohr’s effortless vocal range and ability to lullaby with a groove. I’ve always felt his overly simplified guitar was a naturally perfect fit for his voice. Whether a riff or a scream, neither one ever seems to get beyond what it is capable of mastering.

Like the last couple of Big Head Todd records, Crimes of Passion is not without its unremarkable components. “ICU in Everything” is drab and boring, void of anything charming or even the slightest hook. Then there is the abysmal “Drought of 2013,” a complete waste of album space that chops the record right in half. The second half of this project doesn’t stack up to the first, as it plays out more musically than lyrically. But the overall sum of the two parts is worthwhile to even the casual listener, especially in a highly suspect new release season. In the end, there is something to be said for the simplicity of Todd Mohr and his gift for the lost art. “Love is a passionate crime, where only the guilty survive,” he croons through “Beauty Queen,” as you ponder about what ever happened to the best songs being the least complicated. 

~Red Rocker 


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