You know that guy who owns every David Byrne solo record (on vinyl), deeply respects the work of Beck and won’t shut his stupid mouth about how brilliant and eclectic the music on NPR is? Well, that asswipe is gonna cream all over Fool Metal Jack, the latest from Brazil’s Os Mutantes — a band that has existed, in one form or another, for nearly 50 years.
Music critic Tim Page once penned a famous essay in which he postulated that 1974 was the worst year in the history of rock music. With its dated Doobie Brothers production, Eagles guitar riffs and lyrics via the Jackson Browne School of Songwriting, Fool Metal Jack sounds more like a recording that was discovered stuffed into a time capsule along with a fringe vest and a pair of bell-bottoms than the 21st-century product of a band once know for its cutting-edge approach to music.
Words are hardly sufficient to capture how painfully retro this CD is: It’s the audio equivalent of watching the Bee Gees in the Sgt. Pepper movie. There is simply, and sadly, not one single note on this CD that rings as fresh or experimental.
The world doesn’t need to relive 1974. Just as we didn’t need bands like Phish, who glorified an era they were too young to properly comprehend, this legendary Brazilian combo doesn’t need to be playing catch-up with a period in American music that would best be forgotten.
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