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New York Dolls – Cause I Sez So (2009)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by rtbuck, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

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    New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    Label: Atco

    Review by Bucky


    The New York Dolls are back with their 4th release since reuniting in 2004 for a concert featuring the surviving members (David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, & Arthur “Killer” Kane). The Dolls decided to keep the band rocking to a new generation of fans after a well received performance at the Meltdown Festival in London. Unfortunately, bassist Arthur Kane passed away the next month following the triumphant show but the NY Dolls continued on by recruiting former Hanoi Rocks bassist Sammi Yaffa & the band played several festivals in the UK that summer.

    A DVD & CD of the London performance were released in the fall of 2004 followed by the 2007 album ‘One Day it will please us to Remember Even This’ which was the band’s first studio release since 1974. The band headlined a tour in support of the album on Little Steven’s Underground Garage Tour that year which really helped keep the band in the spotlight. The Dolls continued touring on their own in 2008 & released ‘Live at the Fillmore East’ in May of last year.

    This brings us to 2009 & the NY Dolls have released their second studio album since reuniting in 2004. ‘’Cause I Sez So’ is another reunion as the band hired Todd Rundgren as the producer for the album & it is Rundgren who produced their debut self-titled album in 1973. There are a few different options for the new album: your regular CD shop, digital Download from ITunes (which gives you a bonus track), or Best Buy (which gives you a bonus 5 live track CD). I ended up buying both the digital download & the Best Buy version.

    The beginning riff of the opening song “‘Cause I Sez So” took me back to the 70’s when I was a teenager. The first thing I would do when I got home from school was throw my books down, run upstairs to my room, & crank up my stereo. As soon as that riff began I just reached for the volume knob & cranked it up. The guitar exchange between Sylvain Sylvain & Steve Conte is great throughout the song as the 2 guitarists’ rock the joint while David Johansen’s angry vocals reel the listener in. “Muddy Bones” attacks the listener with the same vengeance as “Cool Metro” did on Johansen’s solo debut in 1978. The song has another ripping guitar exchange followed by the highlight of the song as Johansen yells out “We all so friggin’ naïve…” The next two tunes (“Better than You” & “Lonely So Long”) are acoustic driven numbers that I can imagine hearing in a dusty old tavern while washing down a shot of bourbon with a beer. “My World” starts & finishes with a bass run by Sammi Yaffa & in between, the song has a fast steady acoustic rhythm mixed with some cool sounding cosmic guitars. “This is Ridiculous” has a bluesy/cabaret feeling that I just want to cruise down a dusty highway in a ‘67 El Dorado & crank the hell out of it. “Temptation to Exist” would fit in great on a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack with its old time cowboy style. “Making Rain” is another acoustic song in which David Jo bares his heart & soul both lyrically & vocally. The strongest track on the album is “Drowning” as it has a haunting psychedelic/surf feel to it & it is this track that the band’s performance & Johansen’s vocals are at their peak. “Nobody Got No Bizness” is a funkified rocker that features Johansen in that “Showdown”/”Funky but Chic” mode that only he could do. This tune combines Archie Bell & the Drells & James Brown mixed together with a bit of old J. Geils Band. The Glam/Trash anthem from the Dolls debut album in 1973,”Trash”, catches a new reggae groove which is a great lead in before the dark assault of the albums final track “Exorcism of Despair”. “Exorcism of Despair” is the heaviest sounding tune on the album & it comes complete with distorted guitars, heavy rhythms, & 60’s girl group style backing vocals.

    The Best Buy version comes with an additional disc of 5 classic Dolls tunes called ‘Live From Planet Earth’. “Frankenstein”, “Subway Train”, “Mystery Girls”, “It’s Too Late”, & “Bad Girl” are all performed live with the current line-up of the NY Dolls. The bonus track from the digital download from ITunes is a rocking remake of a Delbert McClinton song from 1976 called “Lipstick, Powder, & Paint” which is a title that is perfect for a NY Dolls tune. The song would’ve fit in on Sylvain Sylvain’s 1979 self-titled solo album as it’s in the same vein as “Teenage News” or Sylvain’s cover of “Ain’t Got no Home”.

    Overall, ‘’Cause I Sez So’ is another step forward for the NY Dolls as they continue on their journey. The album is full of different styles but whether it’s the hard edge riffs, the acoustic driven rhythms, the 60’s funkified soul feel, or even the reggae groove there is one thing for sure & that is…it’s all rock & roll.


    Bucky
     
  2. Flower

    Flower retired

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’





    :)
     
  3. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    I very much enjoyed this album. I didn't think it was up to par with The Dolls original albums but I thought it was still very good.
     
  4. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    I like it too..but the early stuff..no comparison.

    I did like the last studio album before this. :grinthumb

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    I rather enjoyed "Dance Like A Monkey" off of that album, but I actually think "Cause I Sez So" is better than "One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This".
     
  6. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    I have both....I'm gonna have to listen to the new one a tad closer..there is still some warming up I have to do on it...but I am a huge Dolls Fan!

    In 1973..those guys made a statement in looks and sound and had all the parents scratching their heads...:heheh:
     
  7. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    I agree that there is no comparison to those first 2 albums & I really would've been curious to see what their 3rd album with the original band would've been like had they stayed together in '75. At that time they were playing material that ended up on various solo albums by members. I think it may have been something like this:

    1) Teenage News (Sylvain's S/T album)
    2) Red Patent Leather
    3) On Fire (Sylvain's Sleep Baby Doll album)
    4) Pirate Love (Johnny Thunders' L.A.M.F. album)
    5) Girls (David Johansen's S/T)

    Side 2
    1) Courageous Cat Theme (previously unreleased until 1994's Rock & Roll album)
    2) Lone Star Queen (previously unreleased until 1994's Rock & Roll album)
    3) Give Her a Great Big Kiss (Shangri La's cover which was previously unreleased until 1985's 'Night of the Living Dolls' compilation.it also appeared on Thunder's 'So Alone album from '78)
    4) Funky But Chic (Johansen's S/T solo album)
    5) Endless Party (Johnny Thunders Que Sera album also a couple of NY Demos CD's)
    6) Downtown (Johnny Thunders So Alone album)

    The Dolls were playing various other cover songs on a regular basis around their break-up time which could've been included such as "I Ain't Got No Home","Something Else", "Daddy Rolling Stone","Dizzy Miss Lizzy","Back in the USA",& "Hootchie Cootchie Man" to name a few.

    What I do like about the Dolls new albums is that they're not trying to make an album like their first 2 releases (to me Johnny Thunders is not replaceable with his sound & style)but they are moving forward with a fresh new sound with a basically new band. I've seen them twice since they got back together & they really intertwine the new material with the old stuff perfectly.The shows really showcased the new material but left old fans satisfied
     
  8. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    They are a very overlooked band in terms of influence.
     
  9. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’


    You got that right. They were also another band my brother worked with back in the day. He said they trashed the stage. This was back in '74!

    :grinthumb
     
  10. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: New York Dolls – ‘‘Cause I Sez So’

    Well trashing the stage wasn't exactly new what with bands like The Who and The Stooges doing so already. I was more so addressing the huge influence they had visually over bands like Twisted Sister, KISS, and practically every L.A. Glam band.
     

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