Sunday, January 9, 2011

You Turn Me On - Ian Whitcomb

You Turn Me On!
Ian Whitcomb
Tower T5004

Ian Whitcomb gave up rock for the hit parade of the early 20th century and I can only say that ragtime's gain is also rock's gain.  He is definitely one of the most irritating rock singers I've ever heard, shrill and affected, he sounds like a drunk Colin Blunstone crossed with Vivian Stanshall only not as good.  His cover of "Be My Baby" is truly horrifying.  The title track was a hit and is a pretty good novelty song if you like that sort of thing.  With its deliberately stupid lyrics and Whitcomb's high pitched singing, it sounds like a snooty prep school kid mocking rock and roll.  Most of the rest of the record is in a similar vein with the notable exception of "No Tears for Johnny" which seems to be a sincere and dreary protest song and one of the worst songs on the record.  Much of the record actually rocks pretty nicely and with a better singer could have been quite good.  My favorite number is "Fizz" mostly because Whitcomb does not sing on it.  To his credit Whitcomb does write most of the songs himself and at least the album is sort of interesting, possibly even fun if you are a fan of music hall style entertainment.  Recommended to people whose favorite Kinks song is "Dedicated Follower of Fashion".

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