Ready Eddie

Eddie Money

CMC International Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Back in 1978, Eddie Money had the tiger by the tail. With songs like "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets To Paradise," his self-titled solo debut burst forth onto the scene, catapaulting Money into the land of superstars.

Ah, but the fickle finger of fate hasn't been particularly kind to Money over the years. While he's occasionally made it back onto the radio with some hits ("Shakin'", "Take Me Home Tonight"), he's never quite reached the levels of fame and success that he had with album number one. Likewise, people haven't seemed willing to give Money a chance to prove that he's still a voice that's important enough to be heard in the '90s.

His latest effort, Ready Eddie, is a step in the right direction, showing not only that Money can still rock out with the best of them, but also that he knows when to turn on the charm in a ballad. If only he had been able to keep that energy level going throughout the album, this one could have been a contender for some serious action.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Money gets off to a shaky start on "Ready To Rock," a song that is eventually undermined by its bland-sounding chorus. Two words: harmony vocals. But Money quickly overcomes that first hurdle, throwing the rock gear into overdrive with numbers like "So Cold Tonight" (which has a great sound due to a minimal rhythm line - pow!) and "Let It Go". Both songs should erase any doubts one might have had about Money as a bonafide rock star. Even a more rough edge to his vocals seems to add the right texture to these songs.

But Money also shows that he's well suited for ballad land as well - as if "Fall In Love Again" from a few years ago didn't prove that. "Don't Say No Tonight" might not be a ballad in the truest sense of the word, but it does show the more sensitive side of the rocker. Before Jerry Falwell can get his self-righteous boxers in a knot about this one, let me state for the record: this song is not about getting a girl to go all the way, it's about a man asking his long-time love to make the commitment he's willing to share in. It's a little saccharine-sweet, but it's effective.

Likewise, "Turn The Light Off" is a song about the contentment and security our hero has found sharing his life with the woman he loves. Admittedly, this one might send the rock fans running for the exits, but if you take the time to really listen to the song, it proves its mettle very quickly. I can't see this song getting lots of play at weddings, but oh well.

Ready Eddie continues in a successful vein with tracks like "It's Gotta Be Love" and "Can't Go On," but the formula seems to get a little tired by the time that "Need A Little Rock" and "Broken Down Chevy (God Only Knows)" finally make their way to your headphones. Perhaps that is the greatest disappointment I have in this album: that Money wasn't able to maintain such a level of excellence for the entire disc.

And it's not that Money should change his mode of operation. Indeed, the bulk of Ready Eddie is very good, and the disc as a whole is quite listenable. It's just that after 20 years in the business, one would think that Money would know how to weed out the weak material and put together an album that engages the listener from note one to the final fadeout. He comes close on this one, but doesn't seem to be able to throw it into the final gear.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 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 CMC International Records, and is used for informational purposes only.