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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


‘Warpaint’ more like finger paint

It all began
with Maxim Magazine. In a recent upheaval of the music industry, it was
discovered that Maxim gave the Black Crowes’ latest album, Warpaint, a
less-than-glimmering review ? after only listening to one song. While it is
incredible to think that a whole CD can be evaluated after one song, maybe
Maxim wasn’t too off-base with its negative assessment of Warpaint after all.

The song Maxim
managed to review was the only available single, ?Goodbye Daughters of the
Revolution.? It must be admitted that had this review also hinged upon this
same song, the end result would have perfectly coincided with Maxim’s two-and-a-half
star rating. For an opening song, ?Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution? does
nothing to impress. It’s a cautious test-run that showcases nothing innovative and
does nothing to challenge what is already available in the music world. It is
decent ? but decent isn’t the way to start off a record.

for listeners, ?decent? is applicable to the majority of the album. Some songs
strain further than necessary for that perfect word and end up with nothing but
a laundry list of rhymes, as ?Wee Who See the Deep? shows. Other songs, like
?Oh Josephine,? lack creativity in the first place and rely on the repetition
of a lame chorus: ?Oh Josephine/ You’re dressed in black/ Oh Josephine/ Your
eyes are so blue.? At least the Black Crowes didn’t resort to the rhyming
dictionary in this case.


What also
doesn’t work in the album’s favor is song length. Going back to ?Oh Josephine,?
the length is a heavy 6 minutes and 39 seconds. A song that long better have
something special about it that makes it deserve such attention, and ?Oh
Josephine? ? and most of the other songs for that matter ? are lacking. This
extra time is instead used to show off guitar riffs, and while it was initially
impressive, interest eventually wanes. One song relying on a cool guitar solo
is good, but all of them proves there’s something missing: content.

Warpaint isn?t all bad news, however. One of its
appealing qualities is its narrative nature. With varying degrees of success,
the Black Crowes manage to create a compilation of songs that complement each other
in style and tone. What their narrative is about could be anyone’s guess;
perhaps it?s about the horse-riding skeleton, astronaut and wizard featured on
the jewel-case cover.

Whatever their
story is about, ?Walk Believer Walk,? the gem of the album, could serve as an
anthem for it. Perhaps it is the effect of the juxtaposition of one great song
with several OK ones, but there’s a depth to it which is hard to find. With a
rhythm which itself is a slow, sultry walk, ?Walk Believer Walk? stands out as
having the most power behind it, and walks away with you after listening to it.

For The Black
Crowes, Warpaint is the first release in seven years. While Maxim was
rightfully criticized for essentially lying to their readership, one must admit
that their ?educated guess? wasn’t too far from the truth. Although The Black
Crowes try to emulate warriors on Warpaint, they end up sounding more
like children fingerpainting.


2 1/2 stars out of 5

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