have to admit, when I heard that Babe Ruth
was recording a new album I was a bit concerned.
Ruth hadn't made a new album in over 30 years.
I thought what was it going to sound like?
many groups reunite, slap together some songs, and just make a mediocre
record that will end up in the trash bin in a month.
as I talked to different members of the band I became optimistic as they
were all very enthusiastic about the project.
a band that had so many diverse influences and had performed cover songs
by Frank Zappa,
Mayfield, and interpolate Enrico
Morricone's haunting music into their music,
I thought anything could be possible.
the cover of the album shows this was going to be a combination of the
Ruth, and something very new.
preamble to this album happened in the 80's when record producer
Jellybean Benitez and a group the Bombers
utilized Janita "Jenny" Haan
Mexican", Babe Ruth's most popular song, which
became a huge underground dance hit. It proved that the band could
progress into even more modern musical influences.
as I was downloading the album I really didn't know what to expect.
the band still have it's hard rock edge we all loved?
I figuratively dropped the needle on the first track, "4
Dear Life", I turned up the volume and immediately
recognized Alan Shacklock's
soft Mexican influenced acoustic guitar sound. Then BOOM!,
the hard rock sound of Babe Ruth
kicked in scarring the hell out of me!
sang her first lyric "My Healer, my lover,
my savior, my cover, I ran from you for dear life",
I knew this was going to be a serious record.
guitar was melodic and blazingly biting as usual, David
Hewitt's signature bass sound drove the song,
while Dave Punshon
filled the in the gaps with a wall of keyboard sound rounding out the track.
Spevock's punching drum beat pushed the song
as hard as it could go. I was very impressed.
it's Jenny, who
is simply FIERCE as
she delivers her raw, powerful vocals on this song. Her double tracked
vocals are killer and spot on.
delivery is impeccable, and the lyrics are excellent.
anything, she's become a better, more controlled singer.
Dear Life" kicks ass!
was so much going on in the song I was almost overwhelmed by how powerful
the song faded away it seamlessly moved right into the title track "Que
Shacklock's south of the border guitar sound
set the mood.
Hewitt takes over with a driving bass line.
The band sets the mood as Janita
sang "My heart is on fire, sun burning
with desire" with a much more understated
vocal than the fierceness of the first track.
deep in the mix there was a constant but controlled rapping vocal.
the song progresses Janita
seduces you with her hauntingly beautiful pleading; "Que
pasa, my lover?"
the end of the song the B Boy rap was brought up into the mix exposing
it's influence in the song. It fit right into the mood, displaying the
complexity of the song and the bands new influences.
Pasa" is one bad ass song that will haunt
you for a long time.
the next song began I realized that this album's track selection had been
thought out very well. "Sun, Moon, and
Stars" propels the album into another rocker.
mysteriously haunting, this was a harder sounding track than "Que
Pasa" had been.
was another true Babe Ruth
track with the bands "sound" fully intact.
found the bass line particularly driving, and again deep in the mix there
was the sound of some very fine record scratching.
Tongue" leaves no doubt as to the rap/scratch
influence as it begins with the suggestion to dance and scratches it's
way into the beat driven by David Hewitt's
is just fantastic on this album, constantly driving the beat, not just
following it. But once again it's Jenny's
vocals that suck you into the track with a venom.
Shacklock's guitar vaguely reminded me of
I realized that, he broke into a cover of The
Shadows "Apache" and it couldn't have fit
into the song better. The song went right back into the ending of "Mother
Tongue" with Jenny
delivering more powerful and excellent vocals.
Tongue" is another great Babe
Ruth song with the added element of the rap/scratch
sound the band has come to love.
this point I questioned would older Babe Ruth
rock & roll purist fans be put off by this new turn of the bands sound?
don't think so, as this is still first and foremost a Babe
Ruth rock album.
rapping/scratching sounds on this album fits right in and it shows how
else their music was interpreted by different set of cultural ears.
band brilliantly took the feedback from their newer fans, and channeled
it into this record.
fact with repeated listening I think this newer sound is essential and
keeps the album from possibly being just another boring repeat record in
the sense of a band just doing the exact same thing over and over again.
anything Babe Ruth
is going to gain more fans with it's new sound, which I feel is groundbreaking.
Ruth's new sound has a definite place in Rock
anyone who watched 2007's American Idol
show knows, it was Blake Lewis
who really shook things up by covering Bon
Jovi's hit "You
Give Love A Bad Name" and turned it into a
completely new human beat box scratch song. His interpretation of a true
heavy metal song showed how rock and B Boy scratching can seriously compliment
HERE to see the video.
Ruth isn't an American idol cover band. Their
a band that forged their own path in the 70's and came out on the other
side of the millennium with a whole new sound never forgetting their past.
I think this is because of
ability to interpolate so many different influences of music into the bands
the time "Doncha Wanna Dance"
started it finally dawned upon me that this is a concept
album as much as any other record has
been called a concept album.
Pepper became the blueprint for the
concept album John and Paul
always said it was merely a collection of songs that fit well together
and in the end it formed a bit of a loose concept album. Paul
said that he had a loose idea to act as a "cover band" with the Sgt.
to take anything away from that masterpiece, but The
Beatles themselves said the "concept"
was more of an afterthought.
Pasa seems to be much more designed to be
an actual concept album as a whole identity, deliberately thought out to
incorporate the bands old sound with it's new B Boy influences.
Wanna Dance" is a full fledged dance track
that still has a heavy dose of rock & roll in it as Jenny
tells you to get off your butt and shake it.
ends with a blazing, no holds barred, Steve
Vai sounding guitar solo by "Shack"
rips into the song just as Eddie Van Halen's
guitar sliced through Michael Jackson's "Beat
all, it was Alan Shacklock's
ballsy guitar playing that first got me into this band in the early 70's,
and he's still got it!
this point I was totally hooked and impressed by this album.
the album progresses their signature "Mexican"
sound permeates the rest of the songs.
you straight to the border with it's Latin influences, blazing guitar,
and (synthesized?) horns, I was just knocked out that there was so much
going on in every track, yet it wasn't too much as to make it a jumbled
to make sure we didn't forget who made this album, it closes with a remake
of their signature song "The Mexican".
often dangerous territory when a band remakes a song, especially one that's
their best known hit, but even after 35 years the band pulls it off without
guys wanted to make sure to leave us no doubt as to who they are.
Mexican Millennium" as recorded by
Babe Ruth, is also featured on Sony's Playstation
2's break dancing game "B-Boy".
entire band is in excellent form here, everybody is at the top of their
fine wine, they got better with the passage of time.
can tell the band really wanted to make this album, and were chomping
at the bit to be heard again.
really rare when a band can reinvent itself and still stay true to their
original sound and root influences.
Pasa" Babe Ruth has broken new ground and
opened themselves up to a whole new flock of fans.
special mention must go out to Alan Shacklock's
superb guitar playing, songwritting, and production of this album.
a very well produced album, everything fits where it's supposed to be.
man's got a great ear, and utilizes everybody's talents to the fullest.
keys and, of course, Jenny Haan's
great vocals rip this album up.
a former recording engineer myself I know how hard it can be to mix an
album and get everything heard without having it sound like a cacophony
of three bands playing at the same time!
not easy creating a cohesive wall of sound, and yet still managing to have
the "space" for everything to be heard.
the great guitarist Steve Morse
told us "Too many notes sounds like . . .
Base" is still my, and many fans favorite
Ruth album, this album ranks right up there
with their best material.
did I dream of some seven years ago when I first started my Babe
Ruth tribute page, mainly because there was
hardly a mention of them anywhere on the Web, that one day they'd be back
together, recording again, and forging a new musical sound.
simply been no band quite like Babe Ruth,
past or present.
are unique in a sea of sameness and banality that permeates today's music.
is totally new music, from an older band that's worthy to be heard.
giving up their own signature sound, they've blazed a new adventurous trail,
incorporating even more musical influences than they did before.
music deserves to be heard by a wider audience, it should be out there
in the mainstream.
played this music to the older people of my 70's rock generation and they
like it, and also to members of the younger college age crowd who dig it
listened to this record over and over again and it stands up to repeated
listenings. The truth is that right now I can't stop listening to
convinced it will become a classic.
yourself, and the band a favor, and go to their web site and buy the instant
download of this music. This is exactly the type of music we need
to be supporting in 2007 and beyond.
I can say is that Babe Ruth's "Que Pasa"
is one great album!
the way some of you have already asked me to mail you this album.
, but this is an official recording not for trade.
Here to hear the sampler of the album.
suggest you go to the bands official web site, pay the 12 bucks, and download
the high quality 256 KB version of the record. It's well worth it.
all need to support the band and they deserve to be compensated for their
work in making this fine record.
know from writing to them that this was not an easy project to undertake.
Here to get back to
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