New York Dolls - "Dancing Backwards In High Heels" CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York Dolls - "Dancing Backwards In High Heels" CD Review

New York Dolls - 'Dancing Backwards In High Heels' CD ReviewIf you wait long enough, music comes full circle. The reunited New York Dolls have now been back together seven years (two more years than the 70's lineup) and the band's third post-reunion studio disc, Dancing Backwards In High Heels, came out this week. This new disc shows the band moving aggressively in the direction that the post-Thunders & Nolan lineup of the Dollettes embraced in 1976.

This time out, Sami Yaffi (bass) and Brian Conte (guitar) are gone and have been replaced by Jason Hill (bass/producer - x-Louis XIV) and Frank Infante (x-Blondie). The slashing guitar of Steve Conte (who was channeling Johnny Thunders) and "girl-group gone bad sound" is completely gone and, for this release, the band goes for a shimmering, reverb-heavy AM-Radio doo-wop sound crossed with a few tracks of R&B stomp.

In an interview with Mick Burgess, Sylvain described some of the tracks on the new album by saying: "Some of the songs have pretty cool titles. There’s a song called “Kids Like You”, which is amazing. David wrote the most beautiful lyrics to that and I wrote the music and the organ part. That really has a Leonard Cohen feel to it. David sings that so well in that beautiful baritone, raspy, Bluesy voice of his. There’s also “The End of the Summer” and that is the hit of the album to be honest.

We’ve got another which is a real rocker, a kind of `60`s Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheel kind of tune. It has a real R&B feel to it. It is really Newcastle-ish in a way, you know the way that you guys do R&B and Soul. We didn’t set out to get that sound it just happened because we’re here I guess. That’s the beautiful thing about the New York Dolls and the way me and David work together. That’s a song called “Round and Around”. There’s a great line in there where David goes “I wanna listen to the tambourine” and then there’s nothing but drums and the tambourine going “doo dah da doo dah da doo dah!!” That’s so cool and really dancing. I have to say that I think these are the best set of songs that me and David have written in years.

This isn't quite the greasy R&B of the '76 Dollettes but with songs like "Funky But Chic" (which started life as a Dollette's song) and a cover of Patti LaBelle and The Blue Belle's "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman", the Dolls haven't moved far from their roots. While both Johansen and Sylvain are well over 60, the Dolls haven't slowed down and there are enough double-entrendres ("Streetcake") and energy to keep this disc a solid edition to the Dolls' catalog.

New York Dolls