Faces & Names

Faces & Names

5.0 1
by Dave Pirner
     
 
It would be hard to imagine two cities with vibes more divergent than Minneapolis and New Orleans, so it should come as no surprise that onetime Soul Asylum frontguy Dave Pirner would shift gears dramatically after moving his tack from his midwestern home to the Big Easy. Even so, the loose grooves and brassy funk that imbue Faces &

Overview

It would be hard to imagine two cities with vibes more divergent than Minneapolis and New Orleans, so it should come as no surprise that onetime Soul Asylum frontguy Dave Pirner would shift gears dramatically after moving his tack from his midwestern home to the Big Easy. Even so, the loose grooves and brassy funk that imbue Faces & Names will probably give pause to fans of his scruffy alt-rock band. Pirner buffs quite a bit of the raw edge from his voice -- as well as his attitude -- on songs like "Start Treating People Right," which exudes a sunniness that harks back to the glory days of AM radio pop. While several of the disc's tunes are steeped in raw R&B, Pirner turns introspective now and again, most effectively on the haunting "Teach Me to Breathe" and the subtly shaded, gently tugging "Never Recover." Only a couple of the songs -- including the raucous "Much Too Easy" -- venture onto the rougher terrain that once seemed to be Pirner's natural environment, but the joy with which he pursues his more laid-back pleasures is so infectious that even the most head-banging Soul Asylum fan will forgive him for breaking the loud fast rules.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Could it be that after all those years in Soul Asylum, Dave Pirner has been harboring a secret desire to become a soul man? Actually, it may not be that deep a secret, since his band once recorded a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," but Pirner's first solo album, Faces & Names, comes as something of a surprise from the frontman of the group formerly known as Loud Fast Rules. Anyone expecting Soul Asylum's punk-accented hard rock should be warned: Faces & Names is dominated by laid-back but committed R&B grooves, while Dave Pirner's vocals display a subtlety and nuance that was often muted by Dan Murphy's guitar work. Just as Grave Dancer's Union and Let Your Dim Light Shine found Pirner writing about more personal and topical themes, Faces & Names has a significantly higher soul-bearing quotient than his previous work, and while songs like "Start Treating People Right," "Teach Me to Breathe," and the title cut quite obviously wear their hearts on their sleeves, there's something genuine and even moving in his lyrics, and given his more refined delivery here, his more politically themed material doesn't sound as if he's hectoring. And while Faces & Names lacks the same physical power as Soul Asylum's best work, the best songs here manage to sound comfortable, magnetic, and passionate all at once; Pirner has made an album that he doubtless couldn't have made within the boundaries of Soul Asylum, and it proves he has a some tricks up his sleeve than one might have expected from his work in the past. Maybe it's not the quiet storm album Pirner was dreaming of, but Faces & Names shows the guy does know how to get his groove on, which you might not have guessed from, say, "Misery."

Product Details

Release Date:
07/30/2002
Label:
Ultimatum
UPC:
0665907667727
catalogNumber:
76677

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dave Pirner   Primary Artist,Guitar,Trumpet,Vocals
Billy Preston   Organ,Wurlitzer
Chris Whitley   Dobro
Michael Vail Blum   Lap Steel Guitar
Kraig Johnson   Guitar
Oliver Leiber   Bass,Guitar,Drums
Ian Mussington   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Mike Napolitano   Guitar
Skerik   Tenor Saxophone
Anthony Tidd   Bass
Pat Sansone   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Christopher Joyner   Organ,Piano

Technical Credits

David Bianco   Producer
David Gamson   Programming,Producer
Oliver Leiber   Producer
Dave Pirner   Producer,Collage
Trina Shoemaker   Producer,Engineer
Jim Watts   Engineer
Ian Mussington   Producer
Mike Napolitano   Producer,Engineer
Ethan Allen   Engineer
Gina Fant-Saez   Engineer
Louise O'Brien   Label Design
Lars Göransson   Engineer

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Faces & Names 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to finally get some new material from Dave. I couldn't believe what I heard when I put this CD in my player. It's so different from anything that I used to love from Soul Asylum but it's amazing! Pirner is really showing us that he is a true artist. This record makes me feel like he has grown up a lot over the years just as I have. This new release is a must for all music fans.