Artist: The Everly Brothers
Album: A Date with the Everly Brothers
Genre: Pop Rock
“One day soon you’ll have a date & take her home at night
You’ll wonder as you look at her, would a kiss be right?
The more you look, the more you’ll find those doubts will fill your head”
These guys suck. I’m not kidding. Listening to this album was a very sedated form of torture. Like, I wasn’t actually being tortured but man was it grating to my ears. It’s not that this album was bad, it wasn’t that bad, it’s that the Everly Brothers themselves just plain fucking suck.
So that last sentence was probably confusing, so I’ll try to explain it best I can. Musically, this album was good but as a whole it doesn’t have much to offer both lyrically and vocally. Especially not fucking vocally, oh dear god not vocally. It’s not at these guys can’t sing, it’s that they have awful fucking voices that in no way should even be considered nice to listen to. It’s bad enough that lyrically we’re given a look into a teenage boys diary days, the kind of music that plays in teenage diner jukeboxes, being listened to by 50s cheerleaders and jocks sharing a milkshake with two straws, doing goo-goo eyes to each other. Real cheesy love shit that must have been a hit with prudish little teeny-boppers bopping away and doing the twist or some shit like that.
As if the lyrics weren’t grating enough their sung by the fucking Everly Brothers who nasally whine their way through every single song. It’s not so much singing but more obnoxious whining made with vaguely prepubescent voices. They sound as if someone took the chipmunks and lowered the pitch of their voices… badly. As my friend Graham said, “It’s like they were born conjoined by the testicles and were separated, each keeping one testicle”. It’s never high-pitched, but it’s not a normal pitch I’ve ever heard on a man or boy or even a girl. I don’t even know what’s going on with their voices, but half-way through the album, I just couldn’t take it anymore, I wanted it to stop. The fact I even survived by the end of it is a miracle in and of itself. At one point they sing: “They say that everyone loves someone. So how come, no-one, loves me?”. Maybe it’s because you guys sound like prepubescent farts.
Actually, that would have been a better album, just remove the vocals and replace them with farts. Just fucking farts trumpeting over the instrumental tracks. That would have been better. I would have actually enjoyed it.
It came to the point I wasn’t even listening to the vocals anymore and was just trying to enjoy the instruments, and wouldn’t you know it, I land on a song that starts to fade out in a way where I can only hear the vocals. The goddamn vocals. God, these fucking vocals.
You know what? They should just strip the vocals and make this purely an instrumental album. I’m serious because the only thing standing in the way of this being great is the singing because the instrumental tracks are actually pretty great and I whole-heartedly believe that they would work purely on their own. The opening song itself plays on a riff with a guitar sound reminiscent to surf rock, which I found myself dancing to because it was pretty damn cool. A few other songs adapt other various rock forms, from blues influenced grooves to boogie-woogie bass lines and some fun jingle-jangle, hi-top cymbal smashing action. It’s nothing truly amazing, but it’s good enough for what it is.
That’s one of the albums biggest flaws and what also works for it, is that it doesn’t offer much and you have to take it for what it is, just a pop rock album. On the one hand it’s easy to see how an album like this was influential for bands that would soon come along like The Beatles (and that’s not saying much because I’m not really a fan of the Beatles), the playing style and even the cheesy lyrics, which The Beatles definitely did way better than these dudes. I’m guessing it’s an important album to listen to to get that idea of Teeny-bopper jukebox music that all the young kids were listening to at the time as it does have it’s place in History, and every teen movie set in the fifties (even though this album is from 1960, go figure), but the notion of just looking at something for what it is, is a dangerous idea to play. While for some bands (Like the Aquabats) it works in their favour, something like this makes it just an excuse to be bland, boring and uninspiring. It shouldn’t be an excuse and this album mostly comes across that way, just a ton of filler.
Filler until the last song hits. The last song on the album was their hit, one of their biggest hits. A song that I know to well. Already I was dealing with the nonsense filler that plagued the rest of this album, only to be met with the final song. Cathy’s Clown. Cathy’s Fucking Clown.
I like this song. It’s the only song on the whole album where I actually tolerated their vocals because their nasally whines actually suited the song. It also helps that it’s the only song that Lyrically actually offers a little more than just your base love song, but the needs of the song are actually accentuated by the crap of their voices (believe it or not). My dad used to have this compilation CD thing he got from Reader’s Digest when I was really young and he would play the music from it a lot. It exposed me to a ton of old 60s tunes and on it was this one. Cathy’s Clown was one of the songs and I heard it, I heard it a lot. So Imagine my shock when it came on and brought me back to hearing it all those years ago, which I’ll be honest was one of the songs I never really paid attention to, but somehow still knew the words. God bless you Cathy’s Clown, you son of a bitch.
I hope I never have to hear the Everly Brothers sing a-fucking-gain. Their voices will plague my nightmares for days to come. Already I find myself imitating that nasally whine and it keeps passing through my mind over and over again. If you ever want to clear a party, play a copy of this album with the instruments stripped and only the vocals blaring through the speakers. i can guarantee people will leave before their ears bleed, or they’ll stay and die… whichever works.
Song of Choice: Cathy’s Clown
P.s. Here she coooOOOooOoOOoOOomes that’s CAaaAAthy’s ClOOOooOoOooOown.
Photoshop Credit: Julian Branco