Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired

Dan Baird

Def American Records, 1992

http://danbairdandhomemadesin.com

REVIEW BY: Alicia St. Rose

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/01/2000

In 1986 the pop mainstream got a little ripple when "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" by The Georgia Satellites splashed down. It was a straight forward, no gimmick rock song with truly organic guitar riffs and one heck of a catchy chorus. The video received heavy rotation on MTV. The Satellites were poised to shake things up in that oft times banal climate of 80's rock.

But "Keep Your Hands" turned out to be the apex for the guitar rock band. By 1990 the group had disbanded.

The writer of that hit song, former Satellite Dan Baird, released a solo album in 1992. This album Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired is a rollicking affair, a celebration of pure unadulterated American rock. The kind of music that, played live, would blow the roof off of any roadhouse on the outskirts of Little Town, USA. Baird shares writing credits with Terry Anderson (who adds background vocals). The album boasts ten solid, well-crafted songs laced with southern sentiment and saturated with wicked and lively guitar riffs.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

As the title suggests the album does contain love songs - roughhewn without embellishments. A simple man stating a simple fact as in "The One I Am": "All I got to offer is a sweet disposition/I'm gonna love you in that old tradition/This kinda thing it don't go out of fashion/Money ain't never gonna buy you this kind of passion".

The undeniable album highlight is the clever, Anderson penned "I Love You Period" with the indelible chorus "I love you, period/Do you love me, question mark/Please Please, exclamation point/I want to hold you, in parentheses". Baird's gravely voice belting out the lyrics over a wall of chain saw guitar riffs. Exhilarating!

In "Look At What You Started" the singer chronicles a make-out session that ended abruptly. The song oozes with the frustration of the moment and the provocative chorus is sung with heartfelt conviction "Look at what you started/With no intention to carry me on/Oh no no". A true anthem for all men who've had to resort to a cold shower at the end of a "hot" date.

In "Julie + Lucky" and "Dixie Beauxderaunt" Baird/Anderson offer up musical sketches of people in dead end lives who refuse to acknowledge the fact. Julie and Lucky are living a life of lawlessness and a stint in jail is just a minor setback to starting a family. Dixie is a school dropout, working at a Curad plant, who makes her big break in a wet t-shirt contest. These colorful characters never lose a shred of dignity. As Julie puts it: "Don't waste no tears on me/Ain't no place in this whole wide world I'd rather be".

It's hard to designate any song on this album as filler. There's the humorous "Knocked Up", the anguished "Pick Up The Knife" and the sexy "Baby Talk", plus the hard rockers, "Seriously Gone" and "Lost Highway".

The musicianship is first-rate: Mauro Magellan's driving, indefatigable percussion, Keith Christopher's powerful bass licks, and the all out guitar assault from Baird and Brendan O'Brien. If you're fond of music imbued with an authentic, down to earth quality, I suggest you seek out Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired. Put it on your player and find out just how tangible music can get.

Rating: A-

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© 2000 Alicia St. Rose and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Def American Records, and is used for informational purposes only.