A Review of Shoes’ Ignition
I was never much of a fan of Shoes. For me, listening to Murphy and the boys was the equivalent of going out to eat at the Olive Garden. It’s okay for a change, but I always leave craving something a bit more substantive.
If the old Shoes was a trip to the Olive Garden, their new release, “Ignition”, is an invitation to dine at the Vatican. With the Pope. And he lets you wear the funny hat.
If the old Shoes was overcooked spaghetti, this Shoes is a glorious, multi-layered lasagna. With a cannoli chaser.
The familiar elements are here, the sweeping harmonies and jangly guitars. A good thing, sure, but this “record” is so much more. The layered guitars remind me of a Jeff Murphy produced band I dug roughly twenty years ago, 98 Degrees. And there are hooks a plenty. I dare you to listen to “Heaven Help Me” and NOT hum it in the shower. The damn thing is irresistible.
“Wrong Idea” and “Say it Like You Mean It” are also winners, the harmonies very reminiscent of the signature Shoes songs of yesteryear.
My favorite song on the LP is also it’s biggest surprise. “Hot Mess”, Shoes’ attempt at a Rolling Stones song, can best be described as the evil twin of “Start Me Up”. The song has BAWWWLS. Ya gotta play it LOUD. Fortunately, like Nigel Tufnel, my car stereo’s knobs go all the way to eleven.
After repeated listening, I gotta tell you, there’s nothing on this disc not to like. I tried, believe me. I guess if I want to knit-pick, I’ve heard the guitars on the last cut on a Shoes record before. I can’t place it, but it’s nothing new.
That’s the closest thing to a blemish that I can find on this disc. I never thought I’d enjoy a Shoes release quite this much. Ignition is a keeper, a top ten of the year so far. If you’re a pop fan, even if you’re like me (not the biggest Shoes fan in the world), buy this disc. You can get it at Kool Kat Muzik as I did, or order it through the Black Vinyl Records website.
You will not be disappointed. If I’m wrong, I’ll let you wear the funny hat.
Here’s a video for the song “In On You”, one of the many memorable songs on this LP. ENJOY…