The Bellamy's first release on Curb records since 1990, (and part of a settlement in the lawsuit the brothers filed against the label, draw your own conclusions) is a mixed bag. The disc offers something old, something new, something borrowed and will cause some blues in the hearts of those who expect more from the geniuses behind "Old Hippie" and "Lovers Live Longer."
The new stuff ranges from the sublime ("What I Used to Do All Night" is a good-hearted diatribe against some of the more embarrassing aspects of aging and "Like She's Not Yours" offers up some excellent tips on keeping romance alive in long-term relationships) to the considerably less-than-sublime (the bland single "Over the Line" and the flag-waver "Let's Roll America" which becomes the 500th song this year to use 9-11 hero Todd Beamer's already overused-to-the-point-of-meaninglessness phrase.)
The old stuff is a group of songs with copyright dates from 1982 to 1999. Most of it has the feel of stuff that didn't make the cut on previous albums. "Redneck Girl" is here, of course, since Congress passed the law requiring that tune to be on every Bellamy Bros album - a live version on their recent 25th anniversary package, the original studio version here. "Afterglow" (from 1997) is probably the best of a bad bunch here, with its sweet look at the most ignored part of the act of lovemaking. And the borrowing? Well, don't look now, but "The Andy Griffith Show"; "Crazy Old World"; and "Come Back, Gene and Roy" are essentially the same song. And the cheesecake CD cover looks like it was done by a third rate Gil-Elvgren impersonator. But what this lacks in quality, it makes up for in quantity. There on 18 songs on this CD, including - did I mention? - "Redneck Girl."