Monday, April 16, 2012

Every Mother's Son - Every Mother's Son

Every Mother's Son
Every Mother's Son
MGM SE-4471

When I was a kid, "Come On Down To My Boat" was one of my favorite songs.  In my late teens when I started going to used record stores, I came across the album that contained it and I was mortified by the pictures of the clean cut guys on the cover.  This group seemed so square, that I instantly lost all regard for their lone hit single.  As I got older I stopped worrying so much about what was cool.  I just wanted to hear my old childhood favorite again.  I finally broke down and bought this album to see if anything on it was as good as the single.  Not really but I enjoy most of the record.  I still like "Come On Down To My Boat" (which is actually listed as "Come and Take A Ride In My Boat" on the back cover.)  It has a catchy bass line, hyperactive drumming, a punchy organ riff that reminds me of the Animals and a chorus that is a classic bit of sunshine pop that insidiously sticks in your head once you play it.  It was written by Jerry Goldstein and the album's producer, Wes Farrell.  The rest of the songs on the album are credited to band members Lary and Dennis Larden.  "Didn't She Lie" is my favorite song on the record after "Come On Down To My Boat".  The song features pretty vocal harmonies and a driving beat.  I also like "I Won't" which has a big hooky bass riff from Schuyler Larsen who lists the Yardbirds and "raga music" as things he likes in the band bio which might explain why his bass playing is the most compelling music on the album (assuming it is not some session musician playing bass.)  "Allison Dozer" is the hardest rocking song on the album.  It is not entirely convincing, but I like the dynamic shifts in the music and the instrumentation although the guitar line sounds like it was lifted from the Kinks "All Day and All of the Night."  "Ain't No Use" is a catchy pop song with interesting instrumental sounds that border on psychedelia without actually taking the plunge.  "What Became of Mary" is a quiet song with ornate keyboard accompaniment, it reminds me of the chamber pop of the Left Banke minus the verve.  Less appetizing to me are "Ain't It A Drag," "Sittin' Here (Peter's Tune)" and "Come On Queenie" which are good-time type songs reminiscent of the Lovin' Spoonful or Sopwith Camel, not a genre that I like all that much.  "For Brandy" is a sappy love song with strings akin to the Association at their mushiest.   "I Believe In You" is in a similar vein minus the strings.  Unless you are really into sunshine pop, you can probably skip this record but it does have its virtues.  The vocal interplay between the Larden Brothers is very appealing, their voices mesh together really well.  Although the lyrics are mundane, the songwriting is otherwise above average for the genre, the Lardens have a knack for catchy choruses.  Recommended for pop fans who think the Turtles were degenerate hippies. 

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