Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Shake The Sheets



by USER (11 Reviews)
June 7th, 2006 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Alright all of you, come gather around the campfire while Uncle Dylaneppes tells you a story. Hm" Oh, well yes, it is a scary story, Illuvetir. OK, go get an extra pair of pants, but just try not to wet the ones you have on. What’s that, Sput Out Pleth" Sure, you can sit anywhere you want, just come here. Schmeliminator Jr, I don’t even want to know what you’re doing, just come over here. Well, now that you’re all settled, it’s about time for this story. This is a tale about a mad scientist named Ted Leo and his followers, the Pharmacists, who terrorized the power-pop world with their memorable melodies and chilled out reggae breakdowns.

One dark and stormy night, Ted Leo was in his basement mixing together chemicals in order to create the perfect pop vocals, a mix of Elvis Costello and the lead singer of Jimmy Eat World. As he toiled into the wee hours of the morning, he realized that creating something so perfect was impossible, and he just settled for as good as he could get. This type of thing happened often with Ted Leo, and he would always just settle for good when it could have been great. His Pharmacists, who created an excellent rhythm section from the ingredients of bass and guitar, helped him out as often as they could, but still could not make his work perfect.

As Ted worked on inventing the catchiest power pop melodies in all the land, he somehow managed to create exactly four perfect works. He named them “Better Dead than Lead,” “Counting Down the Hours,” “Me And Mia,” and “Bleeding Powers.” None of his other experiments would ever top these, he thought, and proceeded to become lazy again. His laziness reached a pinnacle in “The Angel’s Share” and “Criminal Piece.” Repetitive to an almost sleep-inducing degree, those two experiments were written down as complete and total failures in his log. However, the four perfect experiments were destined to go down in history as some of the finest power pop ever created, but somehow remained unnoticed by the everyday person.

Eventually, Ted Leo and his Pharmacists had enough bright, chiming guitars and upbeat tempos to create one huge experiment, a mixture of all his previous ones. He decided to name this experiment after what it would do for the public. Would it Awaken The Neighbors" No, it was loud, but not that loud. Would it Destroy The Earth" It certainly wasn’t heavy enough to do something like that. Suddenly, it dawned on him. This work would Shake The Sheets! Just catchy and memorable enough to keep your foot tapping, but not so noisy that it would wake up the neighbors or destroy the earth.

And Ted Leo sat and thought about what he and his Pharmacists had just created. He summed it up in a single word. Catchy, he thought, and proceeded to give Shake The Sheets one last listen before he sent it to his boss, the owner of Lookout Records, who distributed several other punk and pop-minded scientists’ experiments, as well. As he listened to it again he realized that Shake The Sheets was not perfect by any means. What he did realize, however, was that it was his most solid and well-written work to date. With that in his mind, he stood up, looked out the window, and was immediately decapitated by...HIS OWN PHARMACISTS!

The End

So, it really wasn’t that scary of a story until the end, but it really didn’t need to be. You see, Ted Leo is anything but frightening. His albums are listenable, likeable, and full of sugary power-pop hooks. Alright everyone, get back to your...oh, Illuvetir, I told you to get an extra pair of pants. It really wasn’t even a scary story. Come on...

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Any similarities between people mentioned in this review and people in real life are purely coincidental. Illuvetir, Sput Out Pleth, Dylaneppes, and Schmeliminator Jr. are completely fabricated and have no relation to real life.

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user ratings (81)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 7th 2006


Nicely done, the intro was great.

The Jungler
June 7th 2006


Creative, well written review, we needed some Ted Leo 'round here. They seem more like indie pop though.

June 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Either this or The Tyranny of Distance is my favorite.

Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2006


A very good friend of mine introduced me to Ted Leo & The Pharmacists in the form of "The High Party." Great song, even though I haven't heard anything from this album :o
Nice review, though. Job well done.

Two-Headed Boy
March 30th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Quite the fun little band, mm?

September 27th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck, this band is so overlooked.

July 10th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

jesus christ this album is consistent - songwriting far stronger than on his other stuff even if the sound is a bit less varied.

if anyone can name a better power pop album released in the last 20 years then i'd be happy to hear it

August 8th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

ok so this guy is one of the most underrated songwriters of all time

August 9th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0


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