|I Can’t Stop|
BoDeans — I Can’t Stop
••• Best known for their catchy single “Closer to Free,” the BoDeans won over a huge Midwestern following in the late 1980s and early ‘90s with their accessible adult alternative sound.
Formed: 1984 in Waukesha, WI
Location: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Wisconsin ~~ Austin, TX
Album release: April 21, 2015
Record Label: FREE & ALIVE RECORDS, F&A/MRI/RED
01. Slave 3:52
02. Love Somebody 4:05
03. Oh Mama 3:31
04. I Can’t Stop 5:33
05. Roll With The Punches 3:34
06. Yesterday 3:31
07. What I Believe In 4:39
08. Stuck Until October 3:31
09. We Let The Good Times Roll 3:28
10. Something We Found 3:43
11. Your Secret’s Safe 3:59
12. Beg Or Borrow 4:21
℗ 2015 F&A Records, Inc
Copyright © 2015 BoDeans
••• Kurt Neumann — vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, engineer, mixing
••• Sam Hawksley — vocals, guitars, bass, drums
••• Kenny Aronoff — drums
••• Stefano Intelisano — keyboards
••• James Farrell — piano
••• Sophia Neumann — backing vocals
••• Nina Ferro — backing vocals
••• Sutton Sorenson — backing vocals
••• The Junkyard Horns — saxophone, trumpet, trombone
••• Ted Jensen — mastering
Review by Mark Deming
••• While the BoDeans' 2012 album American Made marked the departure of co–founding member Sam Llanas from the group’s lineup, on 2015’s I Cant Stop, guitarist and leader Kurt Neumann welcomes back drummer Kenny Aronoff, a respected session musician and longtime member of John Mellencamp's touring band who played on many BoDeans recordings in the ‘90s. With Neumann joined by Aronoff and multi–instrumentalist Sam Hawksley, I Cant Stop finds the band in tough, bluesy form, mixing the Heartland sensibility of their best–known music with a lean, soulful approach that testifies to Neumann's love of classic soul and R&B. Almost 30 years after releasing their debut album, I Cant Stop shows that Neumann and his bandmates are still living their lives for rock & roll, and I Cant Stop finds the veteran roots rock act still as determined as ever to play heartfelt rock & roll their own way. • http://www.allmusic.com/
by Jeff Giles April 27, 2015 10:00 AM
••• I Can’t Stop is technically BoDeans’ twelfth studio album, but it can really be seen as their second. During the months prior to the recording of the band’s last effort, 2012’s American Made, co–founder Sam Llanas abruptly departed, leaving his longtime partner, Kurt Neumann, to shoulder the creative burden alone.
••• Given that the group had fallen into something of a lull with recent releases, Llanas’ absence could have sounded a death knell for the BoDeans. But it ended up being addition by subtraction: American Made reinvigorated a sonic palette that had begun to wither, breathing new life into a sound that had drifted into the Americana doldrums and calling on Neumann to deliver some of the best material he’d penned in years.
••• Neumann sold a prized truck to finance the sessions for American Made, and seeing as how the record didn’t exactly set the charts on fire, it would seem likely that I Can’t Stop is an equally high–stakes affair. Where many artists will say they need to make music, Kurt Neumann truly puts his money where his mouth is. And this album serves as another all–or–nothing shot at the career he’s kept building for the last three decades and change.
••• The good news? This set of songs is even stronger than American Made. Where that album marked a solid if somewhat uneven step forward after an uninspired stretch, this one really heralds Neumann’s arrival as the BoDeans bandleader. It sees him tightening his grip on the creative reins with a collection that highlights his strengths as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. I Can’t Stop lives up to its title — more than perhaps any other effort in the band’s catalog, it’s an album that sweats and bleeds BoDeans.
••• As fans are aware, “BoDeans” has meant a number of different things over the years; after the band’s harmony–driven jangle–rock beginnings, they tried on a succession of sonic guises during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, adopting the U2–influenced sounds of 1989’s Home and the more machine–driven production of 1991’s Black and White before playing to their rootsy strengths with 1993’s Go Slow Down. ••• Through it all, the harmonies of Neumann and Llanas were the band’s biggest calling card, with Llanas’ adenoidal howl adding a serrated edge to Neumanns’ duskier tone. There’s no getting around the fact the group lost something unique when he walked away.
••• Again, though, it’s addition by subtraction. Although Neumann might be the more conventional singer, it’s his compassionate songwriting voice that’s echoed strongest in the BoDeans’ best records, and it rings true throughout I Can’t Stop. The bluesy grinder, “Slave,” makes for a less compelling opening track than one might have wanted, but the album gathers steam from there. Although these songs find Neumann revisiting themes he’s explored repeatedly on previous efforts, he’s still tilling fertile soil.
••• I Can’t Stop is a fairly rootsy, guitar–driven, largely midtempo affair, which won’t come as any surprise to BoDeans fans accustomed to Neumann’s gift for tunefully world–weary melancholy. But he and co–producer/new band foil Sam Hawksley mix things up with dabs of production color: some horns here and there, Neumann’s 14–year–old daughter harmonizing with him on “Something We Found” and, more than three decades in, his tales of hearts broken and dreams deferred sound more lived–in and more essentially true than ever.
••• It would be wrong, however, to focus on the down beats in the BoDeans’ sound and to close without acknowledging that, while Neumann’s protagonists often dwell in the shadows, they almost always have their faces turned defiantly toward the sun. I Can’t Stop is no different. And while this isn’t exactly party music, on a fundamental level, it surges on the same delightfully irrational exuberance that might have inspired the leaping elephant pictured on the album cover — or the bandleader stubbornly persisting in his pursuit of a dream.
• Long known as one of the best live acts in the business, BoDeans continue to tour year round and continue to deliver amazing, high–energy performances. “I realized some time ago that the key to the BoDeans identity is the fans’ connection to our music–nowhere is that more evident or rewarding as when we come together–live. We love to connect with the fans who have supported us for so long and who have brought us so much inspiration,” says Kurt Neumann, the band’s founder and frontman. “We will continue to play as long as they continue to come out and sing along.”
••• Chart topping songs like “Fadeaway,” “Only Love,” and “Dreams” won them Rolling Stone’s readers poll for Best New American Band in 1987, and they were part of a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock–Triple A. Their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2/Joshua Tree Tour, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others. They’ve been featured on SNL, Letterman, Today, Imus, CNN, ESPN, and many more.
••• In the nearly 30 years that followed, the band released several albums which embody multiple more songs played heavily at radio, in TV shows, and movies, and defined a sound that a generation embraced–songs like “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” “If It Makes You,” “Closer to Free,” “Stay,” “American,” and “All the World,” which was recently featured on CMT.
••• BoDeans now reside in a small group of bands that have managed to survive the ups and downs of the industry, remaining true to their sound and their style, for nearly 30 years. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum has them permanently displayed as part of their Midwest Artists exhibit.
••• Summer 2013 marked the return of legendary drummer, Kenny Aronoff, who has played with the band both live and in the studio off and on for decades. Many of the band’s biggest hits feature Kenny on drums. The band has squeezed in studio time around their crazy touring schedule and are prepared to release the aptly titled, I Can’t Stop (F&A/MRI/RED) on April 21, 2015.
• Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (1986)
• Outside Looking In (1987)
• Home (1989)
• Black and White (1991)
• Go Slow Down (1993)
• Blend (1996)
• Resolution (2004)
• Still (2008)
• Mr. Sad Clown (2010)
• Indigo Dreams (2011)
• American Made (2012)
• I Can't Stop (2015)
|I Can’t Stop|