It's hard to shrug off the genius of Neil Diamond. In fact, he only truly sucks when he's being channeled through someone else -- especially someone once famed for having such a distinct and idiosyncratic voice. Yeah, we're looking at you, Eric Bachmann. Since the ex-Archers of Loaf songwriter formed Crooked Fingers six years ago, he's shifted from aping Tom Waits to jacking the gravelly, garrulous ramble of Neil Diamond. At first -- as on 2002's Reservoir Songs, where Bachmann ably covers his hero's "Solitary Man" -- it sounded cool. But on Dignity and Shame, he's shamelessly slipped into a full-on Diamond impersonation that's more nagging than novel. Instead of girls on the verge of Kentucky womanhood, Shame's songs are teeming with drunks, cheap lamps and bleeding friends, but their piano-pop veneer has been buffed to too mirror-like a luster, erasing most of their author's gritty credibility in the process. Crooked Fingers would do well to reach a little deeper inside itself for inspiration next time around; otherwise, the group risks becoming nothing more than Brother Loaf's Traveling Simulation Show.
Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!