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Music Reviews: Spin Doctors – Pocket Full of Kryptonite (20th Anniversary Edition)

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The first surprising thing about the Spin Doctors’ Pocket Full of Kryptonite (20th Anniversary Edition) is that it still sounds so fresh and contemporary 20 years after its release in 1991.

It took a year for Pocket Full of Kryptonite to go gold, but after that it just kept growing in popularity, earning triple-platinum status in summer 1993. By 2011,  the recording has sold 10 million copies–not bad for a New York bar band.

The second somewhat surprising thing is that my favorite songs from the early Pocket Full of Kryptonite’90s are still my favorite songs; “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues,” “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” and “Two Princes” are the stand-out songs, on both CDs of this anniversary set.

But there’s plenty of other great songs on this special edition, with the entire original CD on Disc One.  Disc Two contains demos, including 1989’s “Can’t Say No” and 1990’s “Pieces of Glass.”  Altogether, the set provides a whopping 27 tracks, all of them interesting and fun to listen to.

While it was very pleasant to realize that I still like the original CD, even after not having heard it for about ten years, Disc Two is my favorite. I always like demos because they let you hear the songs the way the band originally envisioned them being, and they are usually closer to the way the songs sound live. There are songs here that made the cut for Krytonite, like “What Time is It?” “Hard to Exist,” “Two Princes,” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” and the clever combination of angst and ego that is “How Can You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me?).”

Other songs on the demos did not make the cut for the original CD, but ended up on other Spin Doctors recordings, like the danceable “Big Fat Funky Booty” and “At This Hour.”

Also included on Disc Two are a live version of “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” which is my favorite Spin Doctors song, and a great version of concert favorite “House,” with its sing-along chorus of “This is my house, if you don’t like it, just get outta, get outta, get outta.”

Overall, this CD is a great bargain for any Spin Doctors fan. If you loved the original Pocket Full of Kryptonite in the ’90s, you still will. It’s not one of those “What was I thinking?” recordings that sound so much better in your head than they do when you hear them again later in life. And the demos are a whole lot of fun. Go ahead and get this one. You’ll be glad you did.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.