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Vic Ruggiero - Something in My Blindspot (Cover Artwork)

Vic Ruggiero

Vic Ruggiero: Something in My BlindspotSomething in My Blindspot (2008)
Household Name Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: dktrdktr
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How do you write about an album where all the songs sound like a fan-favourite lo-fi closer of around a bazillion other albums? First off, I guess, we'll speak about the author of said album: Vic Ruggiero, head of well-loved NYC ska outfit, the Slackers. They have put out 17 albums in a 12-year r.
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How do you write about an album where all the songs sound like a fan-favourite lo-fi closer of around a bazillion other albums?

First off, I guess, we'll speak about the author of said album: Vic Ruggiero, head of well-loved NYC ska outfit, the Slackers. They have put out 17 albums in a 12-year recording history, and that's not to mention Ruggiero's own five solo albums and probably countless other records he and the others have featured on. You'd think he would be wearing his welcome thin by nowâ?¦

Well, you'd be wrong. The relentlessly touring and recording Slackers pull a dedicated crowd, and with them, Ruggiero will always have an audience. His stunningly charming and laid-back voice and songs -- making girls want to be him and men want to go to bed with him (it is that way around, isn't it?!) -- infects everything he does, and there's no exception here.

This isn't a Slackers-album-without-the-Slackers. The music isn't really ska -- more ska-tinged. Vic Ruggiero does almost everything on the album, apart from some drums and female vocals (from the rather alluring-sounding Lisa Muller [of Germany's Black Cat Zoot]) and the horns of the fantastic-sounding Romanian Fanfara Kalashnikov.

"A Lovely Beginning" is a duet between Ruggiero and Muller, and features Hawaiian guitar sounds to a Latin-American-meets-ska backing, whilst "Always Something in My Blindspot" and "Is It You" are country soaked, yet they still maintain that Ruggiero ska swing.

"Lonely Nights Reprise" and "Is It You" take the spotlight out of all 14 numbers, the latter being so swinging it sounds like it should've been part of the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong duets. The former os made by Fanfare Kalashnikov's horns dominating proceedings.

There's a lack of consistency and a lack of self-editing in this otherwise fine addition to his massive body of work. At points, it can feel if Ruggiero is trying to escape his ska roots -- trying to diversify, trying to be anything than what he simply is: a fantastic ska songwriter. Not all the tracks work, but you can't hold that against him; he tries things, he challenges himself, and he doesn't rest on his laurels. When it does work, it's pretty blissful.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Matthew330 (September 12, 2008)

I love Vic's vocals so much that it's easy to listen to this all the way though.

Love the duets. Better than his Japan only release, but not better than Alive At the Ladybug House.

i-type-poorly (September 11, 2008)

I was just listening to this album last night. "Innocent Girl" is the only weak song. It's a great mellow yet catchy album.

baseball (September 10, 2008)

Slackers are absolutely my all time favorite band. Haven't heard this yet, but I can't get into all of Vic's solo stuff. It's not that it's anywhere close to bad, I think I'm just doomed to compare it against the Slackers.

Still, guy's one of the best songwriters around, period.

86themike (September 10, 2008)

this actually a really awesome record!
i am kinda shocked to actually see it reviewed.

i don't think Ruggiero is trying to escape anything on this album. It's not that he is simply a "fantastic-SKA-song writer", but in fact he is actually just a great songwriter.

The duets with Lisa Muller are wonderful and their voices really complement one another, especially "Lonely Nights". Much better than the version on Hamburguru. Compared to his previous solo efforts "Something In My Blindspot" moved toward a country and blues direction, where as "Alive at the Ladybug House" and "Hamburguru" where folk-influenced.

i agree not all songs are winners, Reworked versions of "Innocent Girl" and "Animals" fall flat, though the I never cared for the originals anyway.

Best songs are "Taking Care of Business" and "If This NIght"

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