Friday, March 28, 2003
The good news is that razor-sharp lyricist (with that uniquely, vaguely croaky-at-times voice) Warren Zevon has roped in an amazing array of guests for his forthcoming album, including Misters Petty, Dylan, and Springsteen. The bad news is that this'll in all likelihood be his last one - Zevon has inoperable lung cancer. While we wait for the album, instead of "Werewolves of London" (again), why not give his brilliant '87 full-length Sentimental Hygiene a spin? On this record, he used Berry/Buck/Mills (a/k/a the then-members of R.E.M. not named Michael Stipe) as his backing band, and they not only helped Zevon craft a more focused record than he'd done in a while, but played with a surprising bit more grit and "oomph" than fans of the Athens foursome were used to at the time. The lyrics are as erudite as ever, and as an added bonus, Neil Young drops by to toss a killer guitar solo into the title track (which also happens to be my fave Zevon track ever). He's even more underrated than Leonard Cohen, and nearly as good. Start writing the elegies now, 'cause we're gonna miss him more than we realize.