Frankly, the year's 10 best column is quite self-serving -- feeding the author's ego and accomplishing little else. Much of its validity, or lack thereof, depends on its author's reputation and the amount of music to which he's listened. I think I'm OK on the former, but weak on the latter this year. I haven't had time to listen to as much as I've preferred (violins, please).
Still let it never be said Tarone neglected his duties.
1. Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise --Robert Bradley (RCA)
2. New World Order--Curtis Mayfield (Warner Brothers)
3. Vulnerable--Marvin Gaye (Motown)
4. Bridges to Babylon--Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones/Virgin)
5. April Days--John Cusatis (self-labled)
6. Stardust--Natalie Cole (Elektra)
7. The Spice Girls--The Spice Girls (CBS)
8. Factory Showroom--They Might Be Giants (Elektra)
9. First Band on the Moon--The Cardigans (Mercury)
10. Jennifer Love Hewitt--Jennifer Love Hewitt (Atlantic)
Review of John Cusatis's April Days
5. April Days--John Cusatis (self-labled) Cusatis is a folkie that kicks. Actually, the term "folkie" isn't a perfect fit, as Cusatis draws from numerous disparate influences. The result is lively, slick and unique. Cusatis has few peers as a lyricist. He draws pictures of scenes with which most of us can easily identify. For example, in my favorite cut, "Stickman" -- a rather breezy-sounding kicker about trying to stay close to someone you love but can't have -- he sings, "I used to say if you can't embrace me, then why don't you just erase me, but I'd rather be a stickman, than no man at all." As for wit and sarcasm, Cusatis is an expert. How about, "I've got no more time for Hamlet, he was too much of a thinker, but I still dig Ernest cause at least he was a drinker" from "Contemplative Man." Or, Peter Tosh was my number one, I just can't get used to no Brooks and Dunn" from "Reggae Bubba." Here's a man who deserves a major label!
After reviewing all ten picks Tarone concludes the article as follows:
I probably should have stuck En Vogue's "EV3" and Johnny Rawl's Louisiana
Woman in here somewhere. And again, I readily admit my pool of material
was somewhat limited, as I didn't get to listen to as much as I'd have
liked to this year. Things being different, this list might have changed
-- though I see no way the top five would have.
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