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Danko Jones - "Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue" (CD)

Danko Jones - "Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue" CD cover image

"Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue" track listing:

1. Terrified
2. Get Up
3. Legs
4. Just A Beautiful Day
5. I Don't Care
6. You Wear Me Down
7. Type Of Girl
8. Always Away
9. Conceited
10. Don't Do This
11. The Masochist
12. I Believed In God
13. I Believed In God (Reprise)

Reviewed by on October 14, 2012

"Even when this Canadian trio gets halfway pensive, it's just about impossible to take this music seriously — and that is most definitely intended as a compliment."

With a gloriously big, dumb RAWK sound that feels like someone threw AC/DC, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy and the Foo Fighters into a blender, Danko Jones is back with "Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue." Even when this Canadian trio gets halfway pensive, it's just about impossible to take this music seriously — and that is most definitely intended as a compliment. Though the songs have plenty of pop sheen, there's still just enough grit to keep things from feeling too lightweight.

Singer/guitarist Danko Jones lets his inner Angus Young (or is it Billy Gibbons — or do I really care?) out on the gloriously stupid "Legs," in which he sings the praises of statuesque women — and how he likes legs "wrapped around me" and "up on top of me." As if that's not enough, there's the singalong "la-la-la-la-legs" chorus that Jones intentionally(?) takes way over the top.

You want Foo Fighters punk-infused sounds? Try "Terrified." Motorhead-style punk speed? "Conceited" will do you just fine.

The one time the band veers into straight-up rip-off territory is "Always Away," with a guitar part that feels too close to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" and "Who Made Who" for it to be coincidental. Not that it's a bad song, mind you.

Jones' cohorts, drummer Atom Willard and bassist John Calabrese acquit themselves well throughout, with Jones' drumming on "You Wear Me Down" feeling especially potent in a John Bonham kind of way.

That's not to say that there are no flaws to be had here. "Get Up" and "Type Of Girl" both feel a little too poppy. I get that the band is going for a Thin Lizzy feel on the latter track, but it feels much too lightweight. Ditto for the punky "I Don't Care," which adds little to the album.

Straight-up rock served up with a healthy dose of humor, Danko Jones' "Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue" is smarter than its intentionally(?) dumb lyrics would suggest. It's plenty fun to listen to — and that's really what matters.

Highs: "Legs," "Conceited" and "You Wear Me Down."

Lows: A couple overly poppy tracks, "Get Up" and "Type Of Girl."

Bottom line: Big, dumb RAWK — I do love it so.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)