Spin Doctors Album Reviews

I review these albums strictly as a layperson who knows little techical stuff about recording and music in general. I just know what my heart tells me it likes and that his how I review.
Pocket Full of Kryptonite

This is the first big release by the Spins. If you only have one of their cd's, chances are this is it. I really like this cd in parts. I like it because it is their "classic" sound. My favorite cuts off the album are Jimmy Olsen's Blues, Forty or Fifty, More Than She Knows, and How Could You Want Him. No Two Princes, you say? Nope. Yeah, I dig it. But this is true for all the bands I like... I usually don't care for their singles as much as the rest of their work. This is true of Pocket. The only explaination I can think of is that one hears the singles so much that they lose their impact. Yes I like to listen to Two Princes, especially after seeing them perform it with Chris flipping through the lyrics a'la Bob Dylan. But it's not one of my favorites.

Jimmy Olsen's Blues is just such a fun song and I love the opening guitar part. They used it in a local radio station commercial here before I even knew who the Spin Doctors were. I've loved it since I first heard it. I was thrilled that it was this song that got the crowd off it's feet and dancing at the last show I was at.

I like Forty or Fifty because it has a real message I can identify with. I'm very much against animal testing, as is alluded to in there. I also can identify with the working for stuff and wasting your life doing it bit. I have a job I don't much care for and don't make that much doing it. For some reason that part smacks of Harry Chapin for me. It's a wonderful serious Spins song.

More Than She Knows is a just plain rockin song.... again it's happy and cheery and all that good stuff.

I have a special place in my heart for How Could You Want Him because of how Chris presents it in concert. He dedicates it to anyone who's ever loved someone without being loved back which is me in spades. It feels kind of like a little hug for every broken heart. As for the song itself, well it does echo my life, I'm sorry to say. It's simply gorgeous.


Turn It Upside Down

This is my favorite Spins album by far. It's got the "prettiest" of their songs. It starts out with the semi-controversial song Big Fat Funky Booty which, to quote Chris, is about "big fat butts". It's one of their old live classics and not something I take any particular offense to. Some women just have them. Then we come to their hit of the album, You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast which probably describes me. It's typical Spins hit material. For some reason I lovethe line "I wanna blow you all away" and how Chris sings it.

The next song on the album is an odd creature. Cleopatra's Cat was released as a single, probably a poor commercial judgement if that matters in the slightest. I used to hate it. I skipped it every time I listened to the cd. It's kind of a scatty jazzy type song about, well, a cat. Then I saw them perform it live. It was the most amazing perfomance of a live song I've ever seen. It may even shock them to know that. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but it just rocked. The whole set was somehow lit to look black and white. It had big geometric spins and assorted shapes, I seem to remember. Long story short, I now love the song. It's wonderful and quirky.

The next two songs, Hungry Hamed's and Biscuit Head I always lump together for some reason. The have very loosly the same sort of sound to me, I guess. I much prefer Hungry Hamed's, though. It's a groovy song about a greasy spoon diner. It has the ever-classic line "I''m beige and funky like a rubber band". Biscuit Head is a fun play on words. Next is the song sung by Eric Schenkman, the now departured guitarist. I also really like this song with a message. If there's one thing I am not, it's indifferent. Bags of Dirt, a song about the trials of life on the road, is alright but it doesn't get me terribly excited.

Now is when I get excited. The next three songs are the very prettiest three songs together on any album ever, in my humble opinion. If it weren't for the interrupting At This Hour, I'd say it's four of my very favorite songs in a row.

The first is Mary Jane, a beautiful and happy, but very atypical love song (I hate to use that term to describe it) . More Than Meets the Ear is the next of the three. This is Chris being at his poetic best. I can't even begin to describe the incredible dreamy sound to this song. It's full of such peace and celestial imagery. When the organ starts in the very begining it's like hearing heaven. Then is Laraby's Gang, a good summer song about the doings out on the sidewalk. It leaves me feeling completely wonderful.

Continuing we have a song about the homeless, I presume. It's a rather rude interruption, perhaps explaining just why I don't like it too terribly much. It's not happy or pretty, not that all music need be to be good, but it's a real downer after such good things.

Someday All This Will Be Road is the last of the songs I'm passionate about on this album. It's about the environment, something I care deeply for. It talks about the paving over of our nation. I could go into a speech about overpopulation, but I won't. It too, is very pretty, even if it's about something depressing.

Finally we have Beasts In the Woods, another poetic song, but one that is a bit more dark