Kenosha News Correspondent
Missing In Action
The press release for this album touted it as the first new Missing Persons songs in 25 years. While that may be true in a way, it’s far from a full-fledged reunion project. Only singer Dale Bozzio was a part of this recording, which was written and performed by producer Billy Sherwood. Sherwood’s credits include an intermittent membership in Yes and producing William Shatner.
Regardless of whether or not this should ethically be billed as Missing Persons, it is a collection of songs that any Missing Persons fan will love. Sherwood’s drumming isn’t quite up to par with the band’s original drummer, Terry Bozzio, but his synth and guitar sounds will have you thinking it’s 1982 all over again.
“Do Or Die” is the album’s snappy first single, and Dale Bozzio proves that her vocal cords are far from rusty. While the bulk of the tunes recall the band’s frantic new wave sound, there are a few nice change-ups. “All the Way” is a pretty knock-off of Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” and “Siren Song” is a nice bit of mid-tempo reggae. All in all, “Missing In Action” is better than most similar comeback records.
Shy Kid Blues (HM)
Since starting this column some 10 years ago, it’s safe to say that I’ve reviewed a few hundred children’s CDs, if not more. I’m pretty sure that Hullabaloo’s “Shy Kid Blues” is the first one that was a long-form continuous story.
The songs follow the tale of two boys who meet in kindergarten and become fast friends. As the years go by, their friendship grows, and the duo discover a mutual love of playing music. It’s a great parable about being true to yourself, your friends, and valuing whatever uniqueness you bring to the world.
Narrator Steve Denyes interjects between songs to move the storyline along, and I suspect your kids will find his voice engaging. It will instantly remind them of Owen Wilson, who voiced Lightning McQueen in Pixar’s “Cars” movies. They’ll like the story, they’ll like the songs. This one is a real winner.
The Hold Steady
Teeth Dreams (Razor & Tie)
They say that nightmares about losing your teeth or having major dental problems can often be a result of anxiety that isn’t being addressed during the waking hours. Though not all of “Teeth Dreams” points in that direction, there is an undeniable frantic, unsettled feeling that seems pretty consistent.
Vocalist Craig Finn is an acquired taste, though he often sounds a bit like Bob Mould. That’s a pretty good mark to reach for, however, because The Hold Steady owe a lot of their sound to the post-punk bands of the 1990s; big drums, double-tracked arena guitars and sometimes murky vocals.
To my ears, “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” and “Wait A While,” both straightforward rockers, are the standouts. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that repeated listening to the rest of “Teeth Dreams” will firmly plant the hook and make it a favorite.
— Rodney Crowell/Tarpaper Sky (New West)
— Oak Ridge Boys/Boys Night Out (Cleopatra)
— Nas/Illmatic XXX (Legacy)
— Black Sabbath/Complete Albums Box 1970-78 (Rhino)
CDs provided by CD-DVD-Games Warehouse, 3717 80th St., Kenosha 262-942-9400