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New York Dolls | One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This | review | rock | Lollipop

New York Dolls

One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (Roadrunner)
by Brian Varney

I'd imagine more than a few folks have a problem with this band calling itself the New York Dolls. 3/5ths of the band that made a pair of albums 30-some years ago is dead, leaving lead singer David Johansen, guitarist Syl Sylvian, and, uh, some other people. Still, like recently-reformed partners in obscurity Big Star and the Stooges, this band's star shines much more brightly now than it did when the band was around for real, so I guess the surviving members figure they deserve to play for big crowds and sell some records. I can't figure any other reason for putting out a New York Dolls record in 2006.

My hopes for this disc weren't very high (apparently, neither were the band's - what's up with that title?). I've never been particularly fond of the band's "real" records, so I figured a reunion record was pretty much destined to be a losing proposition. Not surprisingly, this has almost nothing in common with the other Dolls records. Even Johansen is barely recognizable as the guy who shouted "Lookin' for a Kiss." You're more likely to hear him croak and rasp here. And while the base-level rock & roll influence remains constant, this band sounds much more like a post-hair metal bar band, like a grittier, wordier, less shrill Cinderella (that's not an insult, by the way). This particular difference can probably be attributed to the rhythm section, whose taut, professional chops are a far cry from the barely-competent thuddings of Jerry Nolan and Arthur Kane. What this means for listeners is a record that sounds good, probably too good for hardcore Dolls fans. I mean, shit, if folks had wanted to hear this type of music played and recorded well back then, they would've just listened to Aerosmith, right?

As a result, I don't think One Day... will find much of an audience, falling into the same cutout bins the other Dolls albums once occupied, trapped again in the margins. It is in this way alone that One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This can be considered a true part of the New York Dolls canon.


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