Jay Reatard's got one of the stupidest handles in what we call pop. Of course, he also has one of the sharper minds in what we call pop. Singing, arranging, playing many instruments, the self-dubbed mentally challenged one can do it all, or most of it, in impeccable taste and regimentation.
What I'm not hearing on his new collection, Watch Me Fall, is hope, or more to the point, any compelling reason to care about not hearing any hope. After six spins, every "It Ain't Gonna Save Me" or "Can't Do It Anymore" sentiment rush is a little more like watching a drunk guy bitch on a bus. You keep yourself amused watching, but you know you'll forget the whole thing once you reach your stop.
"There is no sun for me," intones Reatard, and he might be right. But he needs something -- addition, subtraction, transcendence -- to raise himself above the tweakers living under bridges, all the drunks in the midnight A.A. meetings. I'll give him a few more albums to figure it out. Until then, save your money for something to either enrich your soul or deplete it meaningfully.
Artist: Jay Reatard
Album: Watch Me Fall
Songs: (1) It Ain't Gonna Save Me (2) Before I Was Caught (3) Man Of Steel (4) Can't Do It Anymore (5) Faking It (6) I'm Watching You (7) Wounded (8) Rotten Mind (9) Nothing Now (10) My Reality (11) Hang Them All (12) There Is No Sun