Doll Revolution

Doll Revolution

4.5 2
by Bangles
     
 

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The Bangles were once upon a time a great band. When they first started out as fresh-faced kids back in the mid-'80s, they captured the jangle of the Byrds, the melody of the Left Banke, the attitude of the Shangri-Las, and the rich harmonies of the Mamas & the Papas (withoutSee more details below

Overview

The Bangles were once upon a time a great band. When they first started out as fresh-faced kids back in the mid-'80s, they captured the jangle of the Byrds, the melody of the Left Banke, the attitude of the Shangri-Las, and the rich harmonies of the Mamas & the Papas (without the Papas, of course) and wrapped them all up in a sweet and catchy package. Their first album was a bright, shiny pop album full of all kinds of promise, which they thereafter either fulfilled or wasted depending on where you stood. Having a hit with the Billy Steinberg-penned novelty song "Walk Like an Egyptian," doing Prince songs (even though "Manic Monday" is a song that deserves its pop classic standing), hiring faceless session musicians to make the second album sound more in tune with the times: these all deserve votes for wasted. The rest of their career was strewn with one landmine after another, like Susanna Hoffs being picked out as the focus of the band because she was "glamorous," the terrible power ballad (and number one hit) "Eternal Flame," more cover songs as singles (even though "Hazy Shade of Winter" was pretty darn good) and finally, the bitter breakup. So far it is not a story unique to the Bangles. Nor is the eventual, inevitable reunion. Doll Revolution is the result of the Bangles' re-formation. It would be nice to tell you that it was a triumphant return. It would be nice to tell you it was an interesting return. Sadly, it is neither. It is a bland, overproduced, and safe-sounding record that fails to leave much of an impression at all. Sure, all the things one would expect from a good Bangles album are here -- jangling guitars; full, sweet harmonies; and earnest, emotional lead vocals. All that is lacking are songs. There are a couple that are decent, like "Ask Me No Questions," a sweet Debbi Peterson sung ballad, and "Ride the Ride," a catchy Hoffs folk rocker, but mostly they are forgettable or worse. Picking Elvis Costello's recent self-derivative song "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)" to cover as the lead track was a mistake. Michael Steele's songs sound like they should be on a different band's record, the dark lyrical themes and clunky music drag Doll Revolution down. As do Hoffs' MOR soul "Something You Said" and her weak power ballad "I Will Take Care of You," which sounds like an attempt to duplicate the success of "Eternal Flame." The rest of it sounds like a solid attempt at a Sheryl Crow record, and that is something the pop world did not need from the Bangles. Doll Revolution won't add much to the Bangles' legacy. It won't do much to ruin it, either, perhaps that is the most fans of the band should have hoped for. [Initial pressings of Doll Revolution came with a bonus DVD featuring behind the scenes footage of the group filmed during the recording of the album, unreleased tracks, photo galleries, and the video for "Something That You Said."]

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Editorial Reviews

Spin Magazine
Polished power pop as bright as a back-to-school apple. (B)
Billboard - Keith Caulfield
All four members... are present, along with their warm harmonies, retro jangle-pop and solid musicianship.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2003
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0099923951520
catalogNumber:
9515
Rank:
64140

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)  -  Bangles
  2. Stealing Rosemary  -  Bangles
  3. Something That You Said  -  Bangles
  4. Ask My No Questions  -  Bangles
  5. The Rain Song  -  Bangles
  6. Nickel Romeo  -  Bangles
  7. Ride the Ride  -  Bangles
  8. I Will Take Care of You  -  Bangles
  9. Here Right Now  -  Bangles
  10. Single by Choice  -  Bangles
  11. Lost at Sea  -  Bangles
  12. Song for a Good Son  -  Bangles
  13. Mixed Messages  -  Bangles
  14. Between the Two  -  Bangles
  15. Grateful  -  Bangles

Disc 2

  1. [DVD]  -  Bangles

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bangles   Primary Artist
Susanna Hoffs   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Dave Grohl   Boy's Choir
Peter Holsapple   Mandolin,Accordion,Keyboards
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Debbi Peterson   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Vicki Peterson   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Michael Steele   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Dillon O'Brian   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Wurlitzer
Chick Wolverton   Keyboards,Boy's Choir
John Crooke   Boy's Choir
Guenevere Measham   Cello
R. Walt Vincent   Harmonium
Melissa Reiner   Violin
Leah Katz   Viola
Greg Hilfman   Keyboards
Michael Nicholson   Violin

Technical Credits

Bangles   Producer
Elvis Costello   Composer
Susanna Hoffs   Composer
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Susan Cowsill   Composer
Stephen Marcussen   Mastering
Debbi Peterson   Composer
Vicki Peterson   Composer
D. Bergen White   Composer
Brad Wood   Producer,Engineer
Jeremy Wheatley   Producer
B.D. Ray   Composer
Autumn de Wilde   Art Direction
Dale Smith   Art Direction
M. Steele   Composer
Yoad Nevo   Programming
Trina McKillen   Cover Photo

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