New York Dolls - Dancing Backward In High Heels
There is no denying the impact that the New York Dolls had in the early '70s, helping to spawn both the Glam and Punk movements. After taking a nearly 35 year hiatus, the band are back with Dancing Backward In High Heels, the third album of new material since their reunion.
At best the songs on the album are pedestrian. Tracks like "Talk To Me Baby", "Kids Like You", and "Baby, Tell Me What I'm On" amble along aimlessly. A total lack of energy compounds the fact that the album is nearly devoid of both hooks and compelling lyrics.
At worst the album sees the once-great band delves into out-of-date genres. Ill-advised turns include hollow vocals that make "Fool For You Baby" sounds like a bad Darklands outtake, the surfy "Streetcake" which sees the band go from Glam pioneers to Best Coast cover band, and God help us all, a '50s doo-wop on "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman".
There are a couple of tracks that are passable. Harmonica and horns give "I'm So Fabulous" some oomph that's absent from the rest of the album. "Round and Round She Goes" boasts a loungy bass vibe and a catchy refrain for a solid danceable groove.
Overall, the arrangements are either awkward or boring. The lyrics, never a strength of the band, are nearly completely asinine. Their dalliances into other styles doesn't push any boundaries, since the styles they explore have been done to death (and much better) over the last 30, 40, and sometimes 50 years. In the end, there's absolutely no reason for this record to even exist.
Since their comeback, the albums have been progressively worse. It pains me to say this, but for the sake of the band's legacy, please stop making records now.
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