Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Brian Setzer Orchestra

  • The Dirty Boogie [Interscope, 1998] C-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Dirty Boogie [Interscope, 1998]
Big bands still can't rock, Setzer still can't sing, and that's only the beginning. There is for instance chief arranger Ray Herrmann, Bernard's black-sheep grandnephew, whose dad was 86'd by Stan Kenton because he didn't have any soul. There's the hyperactive desecration visited upon Rosemary Clooney's perky "This Ole House," the croakin' belt an' croon of "Since I Don't Have You," Leiber & Stoller's obscure "You're the Boss" retouched so heavy-handedly you'd think Setzer wrote the thing himself. But no, that was--dig these titles!--"This Cat's on a Hot Tin Roof," "Hollywood Nocturne," the Elmer Bernstein-influenced "Switchblade 372." With its Doc Severinsen blare and Paul Schaffer beats, its gross secondhand nostalgia and showoff guitar, the most preeningly stupid record to mount SoundScan all year. C-