John Krautner/ Fun With Gum Vol. 1 (Burger, 2015)
Bobby Harlow and John Krautner of The Go are like the Lennon and McCartney of Detroit Rock. Since Bobby produced this album it would be like if John Lennon produced Paul McCartney's solo debut. As The Go progressed John's songs became more bubble gum oriented, so it should come as no surprise that that sound is played to the hilt here.
The songs are short and sweet and to the point. Much like The Go, John doesn't waste any time. If something doesn't work toward the goal of the song it is thrown out. I have always been of the mindset to leave them begging for more rather than screaming for mercy. You should want to play an album again as soon as it's done, not be glad that you endured the length of it. This album flies by and you want to play it again as soon as it's finished.
I Need Sugar is one of the catchiest things John has ever done. This song has caused me to increase my sugar consumption since the first time that I heard it. I Get A Kick shares a lyrical theme with much of the rest of the album: optimism about love and/ or friendship. You might think that it's corny but there is way too much cynicism and negativity in this world. I'll take sunshine whenever I can get it. Lion Eyes and I Know What's Right would both sound at home on an earlier album by The Go. Northwood is John's love letter to the stripmall of his youth. I grew up on the opposite end of town from John, and while Northwood stands to this day my “Northwood” is now an abandoned husk with only 2 occupants and 24 empty store fronts complete with bums roaming around like zombies. Still, I spent many broke yet carefree days wandering around that place as a kid, so I can share the sentiment.
Where Is Terry? is pure Pop, in the true bubble gum sense of the word. This song, like several others, has a nostalgic bent to it lyrically. Good At The Bad Things is another great one, but Music Is the Thing is the highlight of the album. Someone once told me that music is the glue that holds memories together. I would take it a step farther and say that music is what brings people together as well. I still believe that Rock and Roll can save the world.
So after seemingly endless delays the album is out, and it is real and in my hands. I have been raving about these songs in reviews from live shows over the past year and a half or so, and now you can find out what I have been talking about all this time. Lovers of Rock and Roll rejoice...the feel good album of 2015 has arrived.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
Available at finer record stores everywhere and at Burger's website. Operators are standing by!
The OCD zone- For those of you new to this blog, this is the section where I dive into packaging elements. I am a physical media dinosaur and junkie, and the packaging is part of the experience of an album for me.
There is a card inserted that are a sort of mock trading card set. The fact that the pictures were taken in Midwest Walmart-competitor Meijer only adds to their awesomeness.
I have this on limited edition colored vinyl, which in this case is pink. Like bubble gum, get it?