Friday, May 18, 2018

Momma Thinks I Look Pretty Fruity

David Johansen : Funky But Chic

In May of 1978, a year and a half after the New York Dolls broke up, David Johansen released his self titled debut album. Ex Doll Sylvain Sylvain played guitar on "Cool Metro" and co-wrote four songs including "Funky But Chic",  the best song ever written about thrift shopping. ( Sorry, Macklemore).

The two paired up on the writing on the fan favorite "Girls" ( lovingly known as "Goils" by fans). It's as tough as anything the Rolling Stones were recording at the time. David Johansen is your classic critic's favorite, a Top 10 finish in the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Critic's Poll. Robert Christgau gave the album an A- grade, writing:

Balancing the unrecorded classics of the Dolls' rent-party phase--"Girls" ("I love 'em seizin' the power"), "Funky but Chic" ("Mama thinks I look pretty fruity but in jeans I feel rotten"), and "Frenchette" (as in laundrette)--against ground-breaking love/heartbreak songs like "Donna" and "Pain in My Heart," this is in many ways a "better" record than either Dolls LP. Sound quality is fuller, the rhythm section funks and flows, the guitarists play genuine solos and respond to the call, and Johansen's voice is as open and direct as his new songs, finding an almost soulful musical and emotional range. Conceptually, though, it's singer-with-backup in a post-garage mode, packing no distinctive structural or sonic kick, pretty conventional for the pied piper of outrageousness.

Maybe that's why the album sank like a stone.

No comments:

Post a Comment