Jesse Malin: The Heat

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Ryan Adams does get around. In addition to his four solo
albums in three years, Adams is also responsible for a
tongue-incheek, punk-thrash album under the moniker The Finger,
the charmingly titled We Are Fuck You. The connection to New
Yorker Jesse Malin is that he was the other half of The Finger,
so to speak. Indeed the associations between Malin and Adams go further.
The pair have toured together with Adams producing Malin’s
debut adding guitar and backing vocals on his second album also. Comparisons between the two therefore, are inevitable and
coming off a pair of poorly received albums ( Rock N Roll and
Love is Hell), Adams can be forgiven for looking over his
shoulder. The Heat is a neat album. There’s little in the way of
sonic invention; this is simply a case of giving a tortured soul
an electric guitar and backing band and taping the results. It is
at this rock and roll simplicity that Malin excels. His voice has a sinewy elasticity that rides over some huge
Springsteen-esque riffs. Back-toback songs ‘Basement
Home’ and ‘Hotel Columbia’ are the pick of a
consistent and wide-ranging set of songs. The former is an
utterly beguiling, effortlessly simple piano ballad. The latter
is a shirt-off, chest-beating, balls-out anthem. The only bum
note is the hackneyed closer ‘God’s Lonely
People’. The title is cringing and the lyrics are worse.
Fine Art… garnered some excellent reviews, and The
Heatsuccessfully builds on a growing reputation.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004 

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