Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck|
4 stars out of 4
Warren Zevon, the excitable boy, gained notoriety as a songwriter
and performer in the 70's. Linda Rondstadt popularized several of
his songs such as "Hasten Down The Wind" and "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."
"Werewolves of London," a classic rock staple, is easily the most
recognizable and successful song he has ever recorded, and it still
gets its share of airplay to this day. There is some bad news about
Warren; he has inoperable lung cancer. In typical Zevon style and
aplomb, he retorted- "It will be a drag if I miss the next James Bond
movie." Laughing in the face of death takes a lot of courage. It does
not surprise me at all that he responded that way. The lyrics to his
songs are full of dark and enjoyable humor that does not take life
to seriously. After all, are we not but a spec of dust in a vast and endless universe?
"Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon" covers nearly his entire career.
It's the broadest perspective found on one disc to date. Full to capacity
with 22 tracks of rock-pop excellence, this compilation offers some
of his best work. Will Self also contributes some…let us say…interesting
liner notes to add more color to the package. He talks about his relationship
with a transsexual and their love for Zevon's music in detail.
There is only one track that does not belong on this set, "Raspberry
Beret," recorded by Zevon's Hindu Love Gods. It somehow loses
its entire meaning if Prince is not singing it. All the other
21 tracks are perfect. Zevon had a knack for writing personal stories
with bits of humor, sadness, and life on life's terms interjected
throughout a song. "Detox Mansion" is self-explanatory…He matter-of-factly
sings-"It's tough to be somebody and not fall apart." I am sure there
are countless people in Hollywood that can relate to that statement.
I also always enjoyed the ironic twists of "Lawyers, Guns and Money."
Besides being a great rocker, the lyrics and posturing are hysterical.
This man has beyond the shadow of a doubt, lived a full life. Warren
always cut right to the chase in his upbeat rockin' poppy tunes and
he never held anything back. Now that he is on a time clock of life
that is ticking ever so fast and running out, he is in the studio
recording everything he possibly can. Knowing him, he will leave behind
more great songs for us to laugh and cry about. Who and what he was
all about are waiting for you in his music. You simply cannot afford
to pass up on this marvelous collection of lyrical wit and artisanship.
Zevon has always been one of the best, and you will know this without
reservation after one listen to this CD. If you peruse the credits
to each song, you will find many well-known artists that worked with
him. His peers obviously respect him very much. "I Was In The House
When The House Burned Down" takes on an entirely different perspective
now considering were he is at in his current state of life. It does
not matter though; he will continue to entertain us all until he parts
ways with this physical life. I know it sounds so final and gruesome,
but that is the reality of life for him and his fans. We can still
celebrate his music long after he is gone.