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"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > The Human Value

MUSIC REVIEWS

The Human Value-The Human Value (Big Deal)

It's sad that the Human Value is just releasing their first album at the same time the legendary New York club CBGBs is fighting for its life.  Because the Human Value would fit into the CBGBs scene pricelessly.  They recall such classic bands as the Ramones, the Talking Heads and mostly early Blondie so much that I could totally picture them on that tiny stage. 

"Complications" with distorted vocals from guitarist Hiram (our stars have no last names, just like Madonna and Cher...) feels like it would be right in home in the Bowery in the early 80s.

Yet, the Human Value in not just a retro band.  With sultry vocals by Turu anchoring most of the songs, there is a wonderful timelessness to much of this debut album.  The gorgeous "Parts Per Million" has a sweet bossa nova vibe over a layered vocal.  The atmospheric "Springtime She Waits" has an eerie goth vibe.  "Somebody" has a crunching guitar line alternating with a bright keyboard riff, and just like the instrumentation, the duet vocals play dueling styles; Turu's vocals seem rather detached and cold (but in a cool way) while Hiram's seem more nakedly vulnerable.

"Tonight" has a buzzing melody, though Turu's hiccupping vocal and the chorus are strangely reminiscent of the Rolling Stone's "She's So Cold."  More interesting is the new wave obsession of "You Want Him."

So maybe before they board up the old Country Blue Grass and Blues joint, someone sign up the Human Value to take the stage.  (9/05)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2005 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Posted: October 9, 2005.

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Copyright 2005 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Posted: October 9, 2005.