Eat At Whitey's (Tommy Boy)

Everlast 

Eat At Whitey's (Tommy Boy)

Everlast's Whitey Ford Sings The Blues, one of the most surprising albums of the 1990s, remade the fun-loving knucklehead from House of Pain into a soulful bluesman with a social conscience. From "Painkillers," which left the protagonist a paraplegic, to "The Letter," a touching apology set to a sparse piano-based beat, Everlast proved himself to be an engaging storyteller. On Eat At Whitey's (released in October) Everlast continues his evolution, still drawing on his near-fatal 1998 heart attack for his often-morbid subject matter. Unfortunately, he occasionally squanders his talents, diluting the album with inferior guest artists and regressing to a scattershot hip-hop delivery.

Everlast's (a.k.a. Eric Schrody's) singing voice is a Tom Waits-style growl delivered in a tough-guy, world-weary, half-rapped, half-sung/spoken manner. His vocal style complements his dark topics, and the musicians who contribute bass, cello, and additional guitars inject groove into the mix. This time around, Everlast's stabs at straightforward hip-hop fall flat, and the coasting B-Real (of Cypress Hill) and always-unconvincing Kurupt fail to provide ample support. However, whereas most rap-rock icons should be served with a restraining order to keep them from disgracing hip-hop classics with inane remakes, Everlast does justice to Slick Rick's stellar "Children's Story" (from Great Adventures of Slick Rick), strumming soulfully over Rahzel's human beatbox and adding a new level of despair to the cautionary tale.

Everlast's new strength is offering seen-it-all empathy for underdogs and first-person tales of woe from the perspective of a societal outcast. "Black Jesus" convincingly examines racial tensions, and the spooky, string-section-powered "Graves to Dig" condemns hip-hop gun culture. "I Can't Move" provides a knowing meditation on mortality, while "Black Coffee" suggests that the woman to whom Everlast addressed "The Letter" still hasn't forgiven him for his youthful indiscretions. However, the rest of the public -- even hard-to-please music critics -- has forgiven Everlast's past sins. Like the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers before him, Everlast has gone from an obnoxious guilty pleasure to a mature and respected artist. Who knows, there might be a day when someone says the same thing about Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Hear & Now

Facebook Activity

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation