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Gordon Gano | Hitting the Ground | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Gordon Gano

Hitting the Ground (Instinct)
by Jamie Kiffel

Gordon Gano, voice of the hip nerd grope, er, group, Violent Femmes, originally wrote the music on Hitting the Ground for a film that was never produced. It feels like something that was salvaged: Too good to throw away but probably not good enough to buy. The music ranges from moderately to quite catchy, yet never hits the adrenaline nerve like "Add it Up" or "Blister in the Sun" did. Don't expect that kind of kick. The album boasts a slew of top names, including PJ Harvey, Mary Lou Lord, John Cale, Lou Reed, Frank Black, and They Might Be Giants; however, none of these performers are at their best, almost as if they did this as a throwaway favor to Gano. The star tracks will likely become curiosities for fans, worth a B-side eyebrow raise. "Hitting the Ground" is the best track, and it appears twice: Once sung by PJ Harvey and once by Gano. Gano's singing is notably the best thing here, and teasingly verges on excellent. It's good to know that he can still make good pop, and disappointing that he does so little of it on this album.
(75 Leonard St. New York, NY 10013)

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