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John Brodeur

Tiget Pop Ten

(Mr. Duck; US: 5 Apr 2011; UK: 5 Apr 2011)

A distinctly inessential re-release

Albany, NY’s John Brodeur released Tiger Pop in 2001; as records go, it’s serviceable enough, with well-produced songs employing a multitude of hooks and a variety of sonic approaches ranging from sensitive-guy guitar strumming to fuzzy guitar assaults. Brodeur’s voice isn’t quite strong enough to carry all the high notes, but he uses falsetto well and his lyrics, though not as clever as he probably thinks they are, are practically Walt Whitman compared to Britney or Rhianna or J-Lo.


The mystery here is who the heck decided this pleasantly forgettable slice of pop deserved to be taken out, dusted off, re-recorded, then re-released in a two-disc set containing both the original disc and the new performances. This ain’t Rubber Soul we’re talking about—though I’m sure Brodeur would love to be compared to McCartney—and the remakes are generally no improvement over the originals, which were lively and engaging enough to begin with. Generally, the re-recordings add elements to the mix—beefed-up guitars and backing vocals on songs like “Infected” and “Remains of a Heart”, oozing synth lines in “Sucker”, a lilting trumpet in “Changing Your Mind”, and so on.


The question also arises: who is going to buy this? Fans of the original will probably be uninterested in hearing their favorites songs on steroids, while listeners who didn’t like the 2001 edition are unlikely to go charging out to buy a record of songs they never liked anyway. An early contender, then, for Most Irrelevant Record of 2011.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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