Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Baby 81 - Island 2007

Tracks: 1. Took Out a Loan / 2. Berlin / 3. Weapon of Choice / 4. Windows / 5. Cold Wind / 6. Not What You Wanted / 7. 666 Conducer / 8. All You Do is Talk / 9. Lien on Your Dreams / 10. Need Some Air / 11. Killing the Light / 12. American X / 13. Am I Only /14. The Likes of You


After the subdued album from 2005 "Howl" BRMC is back on the more hard pounding track. This does not mean that the melodic side of the group is shelved; actually several of the punk inspired tracks are quite melodic.

The album has quite a long playing time and it may take some time to form a good overview of it. A single number; "American X" goes on for over nine minutes, and since it is not among the best songs of the album, it may well appear rather longwinded, and may tempt you to skip to the next track.

The album opens with the heavy bluesy "Took Out a Loan", after which the pace goes up with two punky but catchy songs; "Berlin" and "Weapon of Choice", the latter has a little Led Zeppelin over it with the acoustic intro. "Window" is an almost Beatles-like song with piano accompaniment. One of the highlights.

Inspiration from the Velvet Underground seems evident at the next numbers. "Cold Wind" starts with a "Waiting for the Man" beat, and develops with distorted guitars into almost like Nirvana. "Not What You Wanted" is more melodic, with nice acoustic guitars in the foreground and with a nice drive.

"666 Conductor," may seem somewhat monotonous, but eventually you're taken by the great lyrics which, as far as I read them, are open for for different interpretations. The absolute highlight is "All You Do is Talk," which after a Coldplay-like start develops into a "Heroes"-like beat with fine vocal-harmonies that will spell-bound the listener.

The next few tracks are quite good but not particularly memorable. "Killing the Light" is a different number with its waltzy beat, and along with "Am I Only" a number that could easily bring Radiohead to mind. "American X" is actually also a good number but it goes on for too long. End number "The Likes of You" I could have done without; seems somewhat cluttered and unfinished - is also listed as a bonus track.

A really good album that probably would had won, if the playing time had been cut down a little . Some numbers could be shorter and a few songs I could have done without.

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