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Schlock, Rock, Pop, Punk, Funk, Folk, Soul & Salsa

 

Carpenters: Forbidden Fruit,
1974

 

Anne Murray: The Woman Who Would Be Schlock, 1976

 

Debby Boone: The Song They Said Couldn't Be Reviewed, 1978

 

P-Funk: Parlentelecy v. the Placebo
Syndrome, 1978

 

Remembering Kraftwerk, 1978

 

Pearl: Act of Contrition, Evie Sands, 1978
 
A Kinks Review Live! 1980

 

A Joan Jett Fantasy, 1982

 

India: Reverse Crossover, 2000

 

RockCritics.com Interview, 2000
 
Al Green: Playing the Audience, 2003

 

The Review of Norah, 2004

 

Iris DeMent: The Okie Aretha, 2005

 

Four Seasons: Jersey Boys, 2010

 

 

Country

 

Willie Nelson's Historical Burden, 1980

 

Merle Haggard
The Right Crowd, 1999
His Own Kind of Guilt, 2000

 

Johnny Cash 1932-2003

 

Loretta Lynn
A Manner of Speaking, 2004
 
 

Disco

 

Cerrone: An Open Letter, 1978

 

Weird Post-Disco Bee Gees, 1979

 

Gino Soccio's Ameridisco High, 1979

 

Disco Defense, In These Times 1979

 

Village People 1979

 

More Disco Defense, ITT 1980

 

Diana reviewed in The Nation, 1980

 

 

Percy Faith's Challenge to Mewzick

April 7, 1975

Percy Faith, Country Bouquet

I used to not like Muzak--or is that a registered trade-mark?--I better call the genre Mewzick. But after four years of hearing it at work at N.Y. Telephone it seems as natural a part of life as the annual Company Christmas Card from President William Ellinghaus himself.

Old Top 40 Rock Hits remind one of other times and places--parties when we danced to the Stones, Hey Baby They're Playing Our Songs of faded love affairs, drivng in the car to the Supremes. Old albums by Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell mark memories of painful contemplation. So why not have the more mundane moments blessed by piped-in tunes like I do now?

That particular office where Mewzick Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter played every morning at 8:05. Unwrapping a container of coffee and buttered bialy percy faith album coveron cold winter mornings just when the Mewzick burst on for the day. The Mewzick Torture Room, which due to an office rearrangement seemed to contain all the Mewzick speakers but only one worker--me. Sanctified elevator rides and passed through hallways.

True Mewzick is a familiar tune played anonymously in such a way that it supposedly puts you in a good enough mood to keep on working. While being so palatable you don't really notice it. The Greatest Mewzick, though, is so palatable it's unpalatable.

Percy Faith isn't really Mewzick.

For one thing, he's hardly anonymous, having an at least 30 year old musical identity. But that's a problem of Mewzick aesthetics right there. Because once anyone or thing releases an album it isn't true Mewzick since you're never supposed to know who's playing with real Mewzick.

Secondly, Percy's ultra-lush string arrangements, coupled nicely here with the natural melancholy of country music, are just too damn sad and nostalgic for any company to pour into their employee's ears. Although they do share the Mewzick quality of being Easy Listening "versions" of someone elses' songs, and hence echoes, and memories, in the brain.

This record fits better in the sub-category of "beautiful music" and sounds exactly like the stuff an older guy I used to work near tuned in on his own radio. (Is there an all Percy Faith station? It's all a mystery to this old Rock and Roller.) If you walked into his area of the floor you were suddenly awash in overpowering beautiful sorrow, regrets, and precious memories.

Appropriately enough, I guess, this was in a section of the East 13th Street building where the equipment burnt to a crisp February 27 and so itself is . . . only a memory now.

I have really enjoyed my Percy Faith record at home in the background, lushly lapping on the edge of my consciousness with those familiar riffs of country hits. I'd recommend that you go out and buy it, but to be honest, I got it free as a review copy myself and it just doesn't seem right to pay for Mewzick. Maybe you could get some friends to buy it, and play it when you're over visiting them WHETHER YOU WANT TO HEAR IT OR NOT. That's the real Mewzick experience.

What I'm really looking for is an album with my all time Mewzick favorites. Mewzick Blowin In the Wind, Mewzick Theme From Shaft, Mewzick Sympathy for the Devil, and Foggy Mountain Breakdown, which oddly made it as is onto the Mewzick speakers.

Boy, what memories those would bring back!

 

Tom Smucker

Village Voice

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