Being an alternative group in the early 1980s, the Violent Femmes had a bunch of melodic, acoustic songs that could not go unnoticed. This is their debut album, and by far their best album in retrospect. In any case, for historical and musical purposes, let’s take a good listen to this recording and see if it still holds up well today.
We begin with Blister In The Sun which begins with a catchy acoustic guitar riff and rhythm section that sounds marvelous. An excellent song, and it is instantly recognizable today as a piece of musical history. Very clever, different and unique, this is awesome acoustic music to hear. Interesting music for acoustic based performance, the singing evolves into whispering towards the end, before bursting back into the main song. Some interesting lyrics are here as well, a must listen for Classic Rock fans. A real treasure.
Next here is Kiss Off which begins with some excellent acoustic guitar playing, with some singing and lyricism asking if a lover will join one in life. An excellent song that sounds very musically accomplished and superb, especially since it is less than three minutes long. Really cool listening, this is a great Pop culture and musical piece that sounds top. Referencing to drug use as well, this is a strange yet powerful listen. Excellent song, it ends with a crashing chord. Nice stuff.
Please Do Not Go comes next, and begins with some solid acoustic strumming, acoustic bass guitar and some plain but excellent singing here. Another really great piece of music, this is spectacularly good and is obviously a plea for a lover to not leave one. A really fantastic listen here, this is a great piece of music that is simple, melodic and effective. Taking the basic elements of Rock music and stripping it down to the core, the Violent Femmes succeed extremely well here. Fresh, inspired and simple, it has some yelping towards the end, with the chorus here as a plea. Excellent music, all the way to the fade out. Great stuff.
Add It Up begins with a beautiful lone vocal that sounds intense. It has a really excellent and intense delivery, before the rest of the band enter. It’s about basically being a real loser in relationships and has a desire for love and lust, with some interesting lyrics here. Straightforward, pretty musicality and different, this is a strange piece, but a very good and catchy listening experience throughout. A clean electric guitar solo here makes this piece come alive, and the lyrics are intelligent and excellent. Genuinely a great song, and a must listen from this album. Awesome tune from start to finish, the outro is very intense, with a sped up section, brilliant.
Next here is Confessions which begins with some chorus heavy guitar, a melancholy feel and a slow, downtempo feel here. A lone vocal then enters, which is plain, yet nicely delivered. Some decent lyricism about the speed of modern life is here, and this piece is a decent acoustic driven epic, being the longest piece on this album. Lyrics about loneliness eventually emerge into some semi-screaming here, which is different and unique here. Really good songcraft is here, and this piece has a dramatic, clean guitar solo to match. These guys were obviously The Velvet Underground of acoustic based music here in terms of impact and influence. The piece becomes more dramatic in the second half, and reaches an awesome climax with some superb drum rolls and screaming to finish. A chaotic listen, yet a very good one at that. Nice song, a must listen for fans of acoustic based music here.
Following is Prove My Love which is a shorter piece that begins with pounding drums, gurgling bass guitar and some direct lyrics about being a relationship. Some guitars then enter, and we get underway. Really awesome all the same, and this album and song are really fine and well crafted. “What do I have to do, to prove my love to you?” is sung here, and lyrically this piece is very intelligent and bare bones. In other words, there is zero pretension here in this music, which makes it much more important than most people realise. Great song, too.
Promise is next, and begins with some catchy guitar chords, before going into some excellent drumming and vocals about more relationship issues. Really cool and catchy, this music definitely demands repeat listens here. With a minimal music backdrop to lyrics about sexual desire, this is an excellent song that is extraordinary and lively. Very original and catchy, the Violent Femmes put in a really excellent performance here. Everything is 100% well done here, right through to the climax at the end. Brilliant.
To The Kill begins with some odd guitar chords and bass guitar playing that is intentionally scattered, before launching into a song about boredom and other slacker styled pursuits. This is the “weird” song from this album, and just sounds completely odd and different. It’s about holding a grudge against a lover and (possibly) murder as well. A very dark and disturbing piece, with instrumentation to match, this is a really cool listen all the same musically. Really intense music, it sounds really excellent here despite the messed up lyrical scenario.
Following up is Gone Daddy Gone is a weird piece with descending xylophone here, with singing about a lovely girl who one misses. The lyricism here is top, being a great mixture of relationship matters and real honesty. Musically, it is well supported here, and sounds simply and wonderful, too. The xylophone powers through here, and this piece sounds wonderfully amazing and simple, with a drum solo here to spice things up. Another cool and underrated piece of music which is catchy and decent, this album deserves repeat listens. This song has a nice chanted outro, before ending abruptly.
Last song here is Good Feeling which sounds like a calm and gentle piece of music to fit things when the mood strikes. It sounds a bit like a piece to meditate to, but it is still classic Violent Femmes. A really awesome and excellent listen, this is a great piece about being in love with a lady. There is a violin solo here that makes this track just a tasty listen, and indeed, this is a really good song. Very nice song and a great listening experience here, this is deep and moving listening to finish off a really underrated and amazing album. Nice tune, it has some impressive harmonies to finish off with, before a clanging piano chords wraps things up.
This is without a doubt, one of the greatest acoustic, debut and best albums of all time. It proves a very good point showing that, even with minimalism, one can succeed on a musical level. The Violent Femmes succeed, and show the world that even simple acoustic music can wind hearts and minds over. Excellent music, and a must have in your collection.
If you liked the article and would like to support the author in his musical review quest, please donate to show your support. Thank you for your consideration. Chris Airey