I Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump


Capitol Records, 1999


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


And now, a few words regarding the debut release from Shivaree, I Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump:


If you've heard the single "Goodnight Moon" on your local adult-contemporary station, you probably have been intrigued by the band led by Ambrosia Parsley. You've probably considered picking up this disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Stop. Take a deep breath. Take a walk around Best Buy, pausing only to look at a new microwave oven. Now scoot yourself the hell out of the door. This disc is something you would want to put on when you're fighting insomnia, and is a major disappointment.

Of course "Goodnight Moon" would be featured off I Oughtta Give You A Shot...; it's easily the catchiest song on the disc. The actual best song on the disc, "Pimp," is one whose title might scare off some station managers, but it suggests that Parsley and her various bandmates know how to turn up the energy when they feel like it.

Pity they don't feel that energetic too often; the bulk of this album (sorry, but I'm already getting tired of typing this whole Fiona Apple-wannabe title) is so mellow and laid-back that it could easily replace Novocain at the dentist's office. The instrumentation is so sparse that sometimes you have to wonder if Parsley is merely using a synthesizer to plug in a few sounds. Parsley's vocals suggest that this is what Cowboy Junkies would sound like if Donna Lewis or Gwen Stefani chose to be their lead singer.

It's a tad surreal, and it's lazier than a dog on a hot, summer day. I mean, I can live with the little "snippets" of "Cannibal King" and "Ash Wednesday" with no problems, but tracks such as "Daring Lousy Guy," "Lunch" and "Arlington Girl" - this is Liz Phair on Zoloft, not cutting-edge alternative. I mean, I thought I was through listening to the Cocteau Twins!

How a band who have rightfully gained public attention with a song as good as "Goodnight Moon" could fail to follow it up with a real album behind it is beyond me, but Shivaree is able to fall directly into this trap. This album is living proof why singles are released. I Oughtta Give You A Shot... needs a shot, alright - namely, a vitamin shot right in their musical ass to raise their energy level.

Rating: D

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen 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 Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.