Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Fats Domino - This Is Fats (1957)

New Orleans native Fats Domino was the first of many RnB/rock crossover artists to use the tried-and-true “obesity insult plus game piece” motif in naming himself. He was followed, of course, by the likes of Chubby Checker, Tubby Leggo, Lardass Jenga and the immortal Tubaguts McLincolnlog. I joke, of course. But I joke for a reason. I joke because, to be honest with you, I’m really not feeling this one. It’s nice and all, but so far, This Is Fats is the first album on The List that feels like a museum piece. Fats’ voice is pleasant enough, but there’s something just a little too simple about a lot of the songs here. I’m sure some will find this refreshing, but I find it uninteresting. Ah… here’s an exception. “Blue Monday” has an urgency, both in Fats’ delivery and in the robust instrumental attack. The mix is muscular, and as Fats reels off the days of the week – and how each one is shitty in its own special way – it comes across. Wait a minute… “So Long” is also pretty darn good. Maybe I judged this one too soon (I write these reviews as I listen, just FYI). Damn! “La La” is pretty good, too! There’s nothing of the virtuoso in any of these songs, but they chug along nicely and have a certain malt shop time-warp appeal that is undeniable. Good stuff.

Had I heard it before? Some, but a surprising amount was new to me.
Did I like it before? I’d say I didn’t NOT like it.
Do I like it now? Some of the songs, yes.
Am I keeping it? Only the Standout Tracks, mostly for mix-discs I’m making for my mom and older in-laws.
Standout Tracks? “Blue Monday”, “So Long”, “La La”, “You Done Me Wrong”, “Reeling And Rocking”

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