Tuesday, September 10, 2013

X - More Fun in the New World

Following 1982’s Under the Big Black Sun (click here for that review), the Los Angeles rock band X returned to the studio with the Doors’ Ray Manzarek once again at the production reins. The result was More Fun in the New World, the band’s fourth album. This September of 1983 release, which reached number 86 on the US Billboard Album chart, is the focus of today’s thirtieth anniversary review.

Side one opens with “The New World”, a mid-tempo commentary on the election of Ronald Reagan with a country twang and a slight homage “Dancing in the Streets” to boot. The song would appear again four years later on the soundtrack for the movie Something Wild starring Melanie Griffith, Jeff Daniels and Ray Liotta.

“We’re Having Much More Fun” kicks the pace up quite a bit with dueling guitars from Billy Zoom and John X. Doe.

Singer Exene Cervenka mocks “True Love” with a song about how some relationships turn totally abusive.

I like the rhythm of “Poor Girl”, a song a girl who is wrestling with her own personal demons.

“Make the Music Go Bang” is a full-throttle slam-fest that celebrates the punk scene.

“Breathless” was first recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1958. X’s refreshing cover version from here was released as a single for the album.

“I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” spirals into a chaotic commentary on a number of subjects, including what was being played on the radio at the time.

Side two begins with “Devil Doll”, a high energy ode to an odd girl.

“Painting the Town Blue” continues the same thrashing beat, driven by D.J. Bonebrake’s drumming.

“Hot House” has a great melody to it, even if I am not completely sure what they are singing about here.

“Drunk in My Past” wrestles with the subject of alcoholism, as the girl of the some deals with the demon in the bottle.

“I See Red” is a rapid-fire anger rant that culminates in a barroom brawl. I get tired just listening to the band barrel through this one.

“True Love, Part #2” has very little to do with the earlier track other than sharing a similar name. This one has a funk-rock groove that reminds me a bit of the Doobie Brothers. I like how they hit upon a number of different songs during the back half.

One thing that I have to say about X is that they really like to mix things up musically. More Fun in the New World goes is so many directions that it is hard to categorize the record into one single genre. That made it an interesting first time listening experience for me. I would love to add some of these tracks to my music library, as soon as I can find a digital download source that sells them.

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