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CD Reviews: Review of Nice Talking To Me by Spin Doctors
Farley Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Spin Doctors: Nice Talking To Me (Ruffnation/Universal 2005)

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Contrary to popular belief, the Spin Doctors never really went away. You may not have heard anything from them since 1994, but their last album actually appeared in 1999 (Here Comes the Bride). They spent at least the last three years with a new dedication to the craft of songwriting and live performance, and scored an indie label deal for their troubles. The result is Nice Talking to Me, and while this record has a more fun-loving, tongue-in-cheek approach, it is easily their best work to date. The Spin Doctors have a knack for writing catchy pop/rock that borders on alternative, but stays firmly planted in the mainstream. If these songs could get out of bed and dress themselves, they would choose a t-shirt and jeans.

The title track kicks off this collection with all of the familiar elements that made the Spin Doctors a pop sensation in the early ’90 – crunchy blues-driven guitar riffs, a funky backbeat, addictive melodies, and the instantly familiar vocal of front man Chris Barron. In “Sugar,” the Doctors seem to cram lots of syllables and witty lyrics into 3-minute pop candy. “She’s so sweet/So sweet and dandy/Soft like cake/And hard like candy” is the hook – simple yet crystal clear. “Margarita” is more of the same, and has a party vibe that resembles another fun time band, Smash Mouth. The lyrics are a beauty in this one too: “Revenge is sweet/But success is sweeter/I took the salt from my wounds/And put them in my margarita.” This is just proof that the band is having fun and not slowing down anytime soon.

“I’d Like to Love You (But I Think You Might Be Crazy)” has a raw, haunting vibe that is a throwback to ‘70s arena rock. Toward the end of this set there is a lot of repetition melodically and rhythmically (“Genuine” and “Safety Pin”), and “Tonight You Can Steal Me Away” has a Steve Miller quality about it. But by far the biggest surprise is “Can’t Kick the Habit,” a ballad of sorts that validates the Spin Doctors as not only a great rock and roll band, but one that can successfully turn the volume down too.

Like a baseball team that puts on its fluffy white uniforms after a long road trip, the Spin Doctors are looking good as they return home – and home for them is the stage, where they continue to churn out quality rock music with mass appeal. Let’s root, root, root for the home team.

~Mike Farley 





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