This Is Where I Came In

The Bee Gees

Universal Records, 2001

http://beegees.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/01/2001

This Is Where I Came In is not your typical Bee Gees album... but, then again, what exactly defines a "typical" Bee Gees album?

After all, this is the same group of Australian-bred brothers - Barry, Maurice and Robin - who were singing songs like "I Started A Joke" and "To Love Somebody" in the '60s, then became the unofficial ambassadors of disco music thanks to their contributions to Saturday Night Fever. This is the same band who just missed the brass ring of success with their Still Waters album. The truth be told, there is no such animal as a typical Bee Gees album.

This doesn't mean that the brothers Gibb don't enjoy throwing the listener curve balls throughout the 12 cuts on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 This Is Where I Came In... that is, besides keeping track of which Gibb brother is handling the lead vocals on a specific track. If anything, this album is slightly underproduced, keeping a minimalistic sound which challenges the listener to accept the music as it is, without a single preconceived notion.

Does it work? More often than not, the answer is "yes". From the gentle syncopation of "Man In The Middle" (which makes great use of the minimalistic style, as well as Maurice Gibb's understated vocals) to the syrupy-sweet yet touching romanticism of "Wedding Day," the listener can't help but be hooked in by these tracks. (Damn you, Bee Gees, for "Wedding Day"... just when I thought I had cried myself out at my cousin's wedding two months ago.)

Admittedly, it takes a little time for the motor on This Is Where I Came In to get to idling stage. The title track does challenge the listener - possibly even a little too early into the album, while "She Keeps On Coming" never really hits full steam creatively. In a similar vein, "Voice In The Wilderness" seems like an attempt to get a song with a danceable beat onto the album in some manner, and doesn't really fit in with the general atmosphere.

Yet This Is Where I Came In, if given a chance by the fickle music-buying public, could be the disc to remind people that the Bee Gees are, first and foremost, a group of songwriters - and damned good ones at that. Tracks such as "Walking On Air," "Deja Vu" and "Loose Talk Costs Lives" all show that over three decades in the business have only served to sharpen the creative pencils of the Gibbs. Even "Technicolor Dreams," delivered in a Vaudeville style, is a lot of fun to listen to, making it seem like the Bee Gees had fun creating this album.

This Is Where I Came In is the kind of disc that could turn a whole new generation of listeners on to the Bee Gees's music - and if people put aside their musical prejudices for the length of time it takes to listen to this disc, they might re-discover what a wonderful group the Bee Gees really are.

Rating: B+

User Rating: B


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© 2001 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 Universal Records, and is used for informational purposes only.