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Music Review: Brian Setzer – 13

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"There's neo-rockabilly, There's Pyscho-rockabillly, There's Starbucks Orange County rockabilly, There's euro ja ja wir machen rockin' rockabilly, There's Western swing traditional blues influenced rockabillly, There's Australian shrimp on the barbie carry your surfboard to sears to buy your rolled up Levis rockabilly. It's all so stupid and it's just plain silly."

So says sings Brian Setzer on the song "Really Rockabilly" off his new album 13.   He wants us to know he is about one thing — the electric guitar. In "We are The Marauders," Setzer sings with a pack of rebels,  "Cause American Idol is a bunch of Crap" and "I didn't buy this here guitar to be a big television star."

In songs like "Drugs and Alcohol" the guitar work on this varies between something right out of the 1960s with solid electric guitar, and quick 80's pop. The subject of the song has to do with meth, getting drunk, and bullet holes all experienced by a 16 year old individual. The song "Take a Chance on Love" sounds like Jets  " Are you going to be my girl."  Both songs stop for a vocal solo where Jet's "Are you going to be my girl"? is Setzer's "Baby Take a chance on Love"

This is not completely a solo effort, Setzer's band mate from the Stray Cats Slim Jim Phantom plays percussion on "Really Rockabilly." And "Don't Say You Love Me" is a lighthearted duet with wife Julie Reitin, a former singer with the Dustbunnies. On "Don't Say You Love Me," the acoustic guitar is used in unison with a unimposing electric guitar. This song will definitely provoke listener head bopping and has to be considered one of the top songs on the album.

In Broken Down Piece Of Junk we get Setzer vocals from multiple distances, such as "I've got a broken down car,"  followed by a Setzer faraway saying "I know"  The song "Back Streets of Tokyo" is sung with Tomoyasu Hotei who also co-wrote and produced the song. Setzer is silent save for a Chet Atkins style instrumental song "Mini Bar Blues" perhaps a play on words referring to both an in room bar and a guitar chord progression.

The best song on the entire Album is "The Hennepin Avenue Bridge," which is simply Setzer and a Ukulele. The song is cute and fun; he actually mentions the restaurant Bennigans which I think is great. This album is not for anyone looking for Australian shrimp on the barbie carry your surfboard to Sears to buy your rolled up Levis rockabilly. 13  is straight up electric guitar. Setzer and the Stray Cats are currently wrapping up tour with ZZ Top and The Pretenders which will end August 26th.

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