1.10.2007

The Californian

While it's hard for me to decide which CDs were the best of 2006, THE CALIFORNIAN by Bob Schneider was easily the worst. I listened to this album while driving, and it was a feat of will for me not to see if there was anything good on the radio instead of continuing through this album.

I absolutely loved Bob Schneider's album I'M GOOD NOW, which showed Schneider effortlessly switching between ballads, hard rock, and pop while keeping catchy, thoughtful lyrics through the styles. With THE CALIFORNIAN, he opted for loud, followed by loud, with a side of loud. Most of the songs are shouted rather than sung, and the best song ("Flowerparts") barely qualifies as decent. The only song that stands out is "The Song of Ralph," and that is not an improvement: It's a crude drinking song sung off key by people who sound, and probably are, wasted.

I got THE CALIFORNIAN during the closing days of Tower Records. It was at a substantial discount, and I still feel ripped off. Trust me: Buy I'M GOOD NOW and pretend THE CALIFORNIAN never happened.

Overall Grade: F

Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

dogfaceboy said...

It's his best album yet, and it's the only one that comes close to capturing the energy of his live shows.

But maybe you jumped on the bandwagon after I'm Good Now, expecting sweet stuff and not really knowing what lies at the heart Schneider's songwriting.

By your description of "The Sons of Ralph" (I don't think it's called "The Song of Ralph"), it's also clear that you don't have much of a sense of humor.

But that's why we have many flavors of ice cream. I just hope that your taste doesn't influence those who actually rise from their armchairs.