Knife Feels Like Justice/Live Nude Guitars

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Brian Setzer may have established himself as the new King of Rockabilly when the Stray Cats broke through in America in 1982, but after the band split in 1984 (only to reunite several times), apparently he wanted to expand his palette a bit, and this two-fer CD includes Setzer's first two solo albums, which found him charting out new creative territory. Released in 1986, The Knife Feels Like Justice is something of an anomaly in Setzer's catalog -- betraying only the slightest hints of his rockabilly history, it's a strong and passionate exercise in heartland rock, with Setzer giving his vocals and songs the central focus rather than his guitar picking and revealing a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Brian Setzer may have established himself as the new King of Rockabilly when the Stray Cats broke through in America in 1982, but after the band split in 1984 (only to reunite several times), apparently he wanted to expand his palette a bit, and this two-fer CD includes Setzer's first two solo albums, which found him charting out new creative territory. Released in 1986, The Knife Feels Like Justice is something of an anomaly in Setzer's catalog -- betraying only the slightest hints of his rockabilly history, it's a strong and passionate exercise in heartland rock, with Setzer giving his vocals and songs the central focus rather than his guitar picking and revealing a contemporary lyrical focus that's intelligent and thoughtful without losing the ability to rock on out (especially on the rowdy "Radiation Ranch"). It's a mature and compelling set, but Live Nude Guitars (which was recorded after the first of several Stray Cats reunion albums) is a different story; most of the songs suggest Setzer and his production crew (which included Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Chris Thomas, and Larson Paine) were trying to fuse a raw rockabilly mood with the polish of late-'80s synth-friendly studio techniques, and the result is wildly misguided, especially on the ridiculous "When the Sky Comes Tumblin' Down." However, Setzer's guitar work is excellent throughout, there are a few fun numbers (especially the cover of "Nervous Breakdown"), and the harmonica solo from Bruce Willis on "Temper Sure Is Risin'" isn't as painful as you might expect. Still, while loyal Brian Setzer fans will want both of these albums, most casual listeners would be better off getting The Knife Feels Like Justice all by itself. (It's also worth noting this disc trims one song from Live Nude Guitars, the bombastic finale, "The Rain Washed Everything Away.")
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/9/2007
  • Label: American Beat
  • UPC: 783722240120
  • Catalog Number: 2401

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Brian Setzer Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Brian Setzer Composer
Tommy Byrnes Composer
Mario Roccuzzo Composer
Bobby Paine Composer
Larson Paine Composer
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