Don't Tell a Soul [Expanded Edition]

Don't Tell a Soul [Expanded Edition]

by The Replacements

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Don't Tell a Soul [Expanded Edition]

All of the slick production of Pleased to Meet Me couldn't prepare listeners for the glossy sound of Don't Tell a Soul, the Replacements' last-ditch attempt at mainstream success. Bathed with washes of synthesizers, shining guitars, backing vocals and a shimmering, AOR production, Don't Tell a Soul puts an end to the Replacements and begins Paul Westerberg's solo career. The bulk of the songs are self-consciously mature, as Westerberg looks back on his career (the autobiographical "Talent Show") and is haunted by the past ("Rock N Roll Ghost," "Darlin' One"), as he attempts to refashion himself as a craftsman. A few of these attempts work, particularly the country-rock ballad "Achin' to Be" and the arena rock stab "I'll Be You," but the lite-funk workout "Asking Me Lies" and the stuttering "I Won't" are flat-out embarrassing. And the rest of the album suffers from Westerberg's determination to be adult. The songs are too self-consciously mature, and the band functions as a supporting act for the lyrics, which lack the unpretentious poetry of his best work. Ironically, Westerberg's desire to be an "adult" is the reason why radio ignored Don't Tell a Soul, because it meant that the record lacked both rockers or power ballads which would have given them air-time. And most old fans found the production too heavy to make sorting through the album worthwhile. [Rhino's 2008 reissue of Don't Tell a Soul serves up eight bonus tracks, every one a lot livelier than the album proper. Nowhere is that truer than the silly, careening gospel piss-take "Date to Church," recorded with Tom Waits. In the days of Hootenanny, this would have been a cornerstone of an LP, but in 1989, it was consigned to the B-side of "I'll Be You." Also here are two songs originally released on the second disc of the 1997 All for Nothing/Nothing for All compilation: the mellow country-rocker "Portland," whose chorus popped up on "Talent Show," and "Wake Up," a really good, really fast rocker that would certainly have given the album a needed dose of thunder. Then there's the group's fun, sloppy take on 101 Dalmatians' "Cruella de Ville," taken from Hal Willner's 1988 album Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films, yet another performance that has more soul than the album itself. A sprightly, energetic demo of "Talent Show" hints at what Don't Tell a Soul could have sounded like without the gloss, and it's pretty appealing; an early mix of "We'll Inherit the Earth" also strips away some of the sheen, but the song is still confused. Finally, there is the outtake "We Know the Night" -- a solo Westerberg number, something the album sorely needed -- and a fun romp through Slade's "Gudbuy t' Jane."]

Product Details

Release Date: 09/23/2008
Label: Rhino / Rykodisc
UPC: 0081227990244
catalogNumber: 513981

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Replacements   Primary Artist
Chris Mars   Vocals,Track Performer
Paul Westerberg   Vocals,Track Performer
Slim Dunlap   Vocals,Track Performer
Tommy Stinson   Vocals,Track Performer

Technical Credits

Paul Westerberg   Composer
Dan Bates   Engineer
Tony Berg   Producer
Peter Doell   Engineer
Noddy Holder   Composer
Peter Jesperson   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Memorabilia
John Beverly Jones   Engineer
Jim Lea   Composer
Matt Wallace   Producer,Engineer,Original Album Producer
Michael Bosley   Engineer
John Akre   Engineer
Bill Holdship   Liner Notes
Kim Champagne   Art Direction

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