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Jesse Malin - Glitter in the Gutter

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Glitter in the Gutter

Jesse Malin

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Lingua disponibile: inglese

It took three albums, but Jesse Malin's finally made it. What does that mean? It means that he's finally assembled the record he's been trying to put together since his debut (which was a good record). Glitter in the Gutter is a fully realized collection of solidly crafted pop/rock songs that are as lyrically substantive and poetic as the music that goes with them. Produced by Rob Caggiano and Eddie Wohl for Adeline Records, Malin is the epitome of the street rocker with a poet's heart. Rolling in California, for the first time on a record -- and for the first time above 14th Street in New York City -- Malin recruited old pal Ryan Adams to play guitar on a couple of cuts, Jakob Dylan to sing a backing vocal, and some guy named Bruce Springsteen to help him sing a duet on killer little ballad called "Broken Radio" complete with strings. This cut is the proof, though the record is filled with it, that Malin has become one of those fine rock & roll storytellers who has equal parts melodrama, hedonism, poetry, swagger and timing. The story of a former lover, someone hidden from the view of the protagonist, as Adams' guitars entwine with a piano and strings and ambient sounds, the tempo is slow and Malin's croon sounds like a man on the fire escape reminiscing to the night sky: "She used to talk about astrology/She was born in June/She danced with strangers and celebrities/Empty stars and full moon/I was thinking about the universe/For what it's worth/Or the one about the phoenix bird/That died and then returned." He jumps right back with the wild rocker "Prisoners of Paradise" and evokes all the desperation of the bleary-eyed romantics in the young Springsteen with the soul of Willy DeVille and the savvy wisdom of Elliott Murphy and is louder and prouder than all three. "Black Haired Girl" is another city story, it's all blazing guitars and sweet melodies. There's a wild vulnerability in the singer though he's trying hard to be in control. "Lucinda," well, we know who that one's about. There are a few songs on her album West about Malin, too. But Malin doesn't have to wait until the middle of the record to shine. He does it from the first cut, when he leaves the country-ish tinge present on his earlier records for good. The ringing guitars on "Don't Let Them Take You Down" become a lone acoustic that gives way to a cracking snare and big ringing electrics courtesy of Lizzy Lee Vincent and Justin Lomery: "We were born in flames, maiden names/Suburban homes, make your bones/Bite your lip, take the fifth...And it's my generation and the whole world is breakin my heart." He goes out of it roaring with all the romance rock & roll can promise when it splits reality in two: "Don't let them take you down/It's a beautiful day/Don't let them mess you around." Coming up in the '80s through the hardcore punk scene, Malin's proving that he's matured but that he believes, though he's got no illusions about what's happening all around him. Speaking of the '80s, Malin's got the cojones to cover Paul Westerberg's mighty anthem "Bastards of Young" and turn it into a piano-laden ballad that gives way to screeing feedback guitars that line the background. It's brave but it's a misstep, because with his presence, he might have pulled it off with all the raging six-string power the song is due. It's a minor complaint, perhaps, because that song should never be covered. He shoots right back with a mid-tempo power ballad by updating Heat's "Since You're in Love" with "Happy Ever After (Since You're in Love 2007)." The dramatics are more weatherbeaten this time out, the wish is more a confession of self-doubt and brokenness, but it's tight. "New York Nights" is a fire-escape love song with an acoustic guitar that gives way to the roar of the noise of the singer's heart with a hook nearly worthy of Doc Pomus without the retro vibe. "Aftermath" is pure Malin cine-song. There's a movie in here somewhere, but it's everywhere, falling out of the changes and dripping from the words like blood from a freshly opened vein. He evokes images of rock's greatest moments in a weary urban tragedy that's not willing to throw in the towel just yet. Adams provides gorgeous backing vocals and some keen organ work, too. Glitter in the Gutter is aptly named, because Malin's not posing. There's irony in the reveries and hope in the dustbin. Like Samuel Beckett, he's holding out for the glimmer, even when it's covered over by busted hearts, lost souls, and night roamers who cannot bear to see the sun come up because all the flaws will be laid bare. It's a fine look at what's left of rock & roll's promise: plenty, it seems, and shows the tatters in the seams of the younger generation's American Dream. Malin may not be Bob Dylan or Springsteen, but he doesn't need to be; that was a different time, and he's right on schedule for his own. ~ Thom Jurek

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Glitter in the Gutter

Jesse Malin

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1
Don't Let Them Take You Down (Beautiful Day!) 00:02:50

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

2
In the Modern World 00:02:58

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

3
Tomorrow Tonight 00:03:30

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

4
Broken Radio 00:03:36

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

5
Prisoners of Paradise 00:02:56

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

6
Black Haired Girl 00:03:00

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

7
Lucinda 00:02:55

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

8
Love Streams 00:03:27

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

9
Little Star 00:02:57

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

10
Bastards of Young 00:03:35

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

11
Happy Ever After (Since Your in Love 2007) 00:04:04

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

12
Ny Nights 00:03:47

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

13
Aftermath 00:04:05

Jesse Malin, Performer - DR, Composer, Writer

Jesse Malin

Descrizione dell'album

It took three albums, but Jesse Malin's finally made it. What does that mean? It means that he's finally assembled the record he's been trying to put together since his debut (which was a good record). Glitter in the Gutter is a fully realized collection of solidly crafted pop/rock songs that are as lyrically substantive and poetic as the music that goes with them. Produced by Rob Caggiano and Eddie Wohl for Adeline Records, Malin is the epitome of the street rocker with a poet's heart. Rolling in California, for the first time on a record -- and for the first time above 14th Street in New York City -- Malin recruited old pal Ryan Adams to play guitar on a couple of cuts, Jakob Dylan to sing a backing vocal, and some guy named Bruce Springsteen to help him sing a duet on killer little ballad called "Broken Radio" complete with strings. This cut is the proof, though the record is filled with it, that Malin has become one of those fine rock & roll storytellers who has equal parts melodrama, hedonism, poetry, swagger and timing. The story of a former lover, someone hidden from the view of the protagonist, as Adams' guitars entwine with a piano and strings and ambient sounds, the tempo is slow and Malin's croon sounds like a man on the fire escape reminiscing to the night sky: "She used to talk about astrology/She was born in June/She danced with strangers and celebrities/Empty stars and full moon/I was thinking about the universe/For what it's worth/Or the one about the phoenix bird/That died and then returned." He jumps right back with the wild rocker "Prisoners of Paradise" and evokes all the desperation of the bleary-eyed romantics in the young Springsteen with the soul of Willy DeVille and the savvy wisdom of Elliott Murphy and is louder and prouder than all three. "Black Haired Girl" is another city story, it's all blazing guitars and sweet melodies. There's a wild vulnerability in the singer though he's trying hard to be in control. "Lucinda," well, we know who that one's about. There are a few songs on her album West about Malin, too. But Malin doesn't have to wait until the middle of the record to shine. He does it from the first cut, when he leaves the country-ish tinge present on his earlier records for good. The ringing guitars on "Don't Let Them Take You Down" become a lone acoustic that gives way to a cracking snare and big ringing electrics courtesy of Lizzy Lee Vincent and Justin Lomery: "We were born in flames, maiden names/Suburban homes, make your bones/Bite your lip, take the fifth...And it's my generation and the whole world is breakin my heart." He goes out of it roaring with all the romance rock & roll can promise when it splits reality in two: "Don't let them take you down/It's a beautiful day/Don't let them mess you around." Coming up in the '80s through the hardcore punk scene, Malin's proving that he's matured but that he believes, though he's got no illusions about what's happening all around him. Speaking of the '80s, Malin's got the cojones to cover Paul Westerberg's mighty anthem "Bastards of Young" and turn it into a piano-laden ballad that gives way to screeing feedback guitars that line the background. It's brave but it's a misstep, because with his presence, he might have pulled it off with all the raging six-string power the song is due. It's a minor complaint, perhaps, because that song should never be covered. He shoots right back with a mid-tempo power ballad by updating Heat's "Since You're in Love" with "Happy Ever After (Since You're in Love 2007)." The dramatics are more weatherbeaten this time out, the wish is more a confession of self-doubt and brokenness, but it's tight. "New York Nights" is a fire-escape love song with an acoustic guitar that gives way to the roar of the noise of the singer's heart with a hook nearly worthy of Doc Pomus without the retro vibe. "Aftermath" is pure Malin cine-song. There's a movie in here somewhere, but it's everywhere, falling out of the changes and dripping from the words like blood from a freshly opened vein. He evokes images of rock's greatest moments in a weary urban tragedy that's not willing to throw in the towel just yet. Adams provides gorgeous backing vocals and some keen organ work, too. Glitter in the Gutter is aptly named, because Malin's not posing. There's irony in the reveries and hope in the dustbin. Like Samuel Beckett, he's holding out for the glimmer, even when it's covered over by busted hearts, lost souls, and night roamers who cannot bear to see the sun come up because all the flaws will be laid bare. It's a fine look at what's left of rock & roll's promise: plenty, it seems, and shows the tatters in the seams of the younger generation's American Dream. Malin may not be Bob Dylan or Springsteen, but he doesn't need to be; that was a different time, and he's right on schedule for his own. ~ Thom Jurek

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