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Paul Westerberg

Suicaine Gratifaction

  • Capitol

Since his days fronting the fabled Replacements, part of the appeal of Paul Westerberg has been that he's a bit rough around the edges. Producer Don Was (Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt) helps turn that roughness into something palatable on the strangely titled Suicaine Gratifaction. Westerberg's knack for crafting hooks to die for surfaces here on songs like“ Whatever Makes You Happy,” the attitude-charged “Best Thing That Never Happened” and the dirty-guitar driven masterpiece “Lookin' Out Forever.” And while the songwriter's best tracks tend to be his simplest (“Tears Rolling Up Our Sleeves”) he's also quite capable of coming up with very complex structures such as “Fugitive Kind”, which even manages to nick a melodic hook right out of the Hollies' “On a Carousel.” Quite cool and utterly irresistible.

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