Review Summary: A great start for a new decade, ZZ Top show they still have the spark, and they play loose again for the first time in over a decade.
After trading guitars with synthesizers for a decade and selling millions of albums, ZZ Top finally threw out the window the synthesizers on "Antenna". This decision took place because of New Wave's death and the rise of Grunge, which favored a dirtier sound over the gay attitude and synths. However, they were reluctant to completely get rid of the drum click tracks and the polished production of their 80's efforts. Still, is a great improvement and also,a lot more fun to listen to.
"Pincushion" starts the record with a blast of the brand new old dirty sound. The lyrics are the usual, but it's what ZZ Top do best. A great opener and a definite highlight. After it, comes a string of great songs each different in it's own way. "Breakaway" is a slow burner and has some great "whiskey vocals" by Gibbons, that characterize the 90's albums.
Then there's the stomping "Fuzzbox Voodoo", where the pedal's being praised and used to get girls "Now lay down on your hot spot/Listen what i'm tellin' you/Said lean down with your hot spot/Hit you with the blue voodoo/Talkin' fuzzbox blue voodoo". "Girl In A T-Shirt", a bass-heavy number and one of the catchiest tunes on the album, is closer to the band's mid-70's style; It's simple fun.
The best song on the record is "PCH". From the slick guitar intro, to the rompin' riff and the great licks, the band sounds like they're having a blast, like singing without compromising anything. The vocals are great and really fit the song. Also, Dusty Hill has a couple of good songs on the record. His hectic vocals give "World Of Swirl" and "Antenna Head" more kick and a slightly different attitude than Gibbons' tracks.
The album loses momentum on the last 4 tracks, but given their experience, the songs aren't disposable, they are just the typical ZZ Top album tracks.They're good but not special. From the bunch, the most interesting is "Cover Your Rig", again a slow, bluesy track. The best thing about it is Dusty nicely complementing Billy's voice on the chorus.
A great start for a new decade, ZZ Top show they still have the spark, and they play loose again for the first time in over a decade.
Highlights - "PCH", "Pincushion", "Girl In A T-Shirt", "World Of Swirl"