Listen Up: Wednesday, June 15, 2005
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PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Goat

All of My Friends (Judgment Entertainment)

By Billy Walters

Something weird happens when you listen to the sophomore release from the weirdly named Goat: Just as you’re about to write him off as a Beck-rip-off without soul, the melodies scattered throughout All of My Friends begin to settle comfortably into the subconscious and direct the body to hum and groove along. In fact, if it weren’t for the cancerous pervasiveness of clichéd lyrics, this record might approach the level of artistry regularly attained by the mononymic golden boy.

Don’t confuse Goat with Goat Boy, the legendary Saturday Night Live character. Goat is Andrew Rosen, son of Cleveland Indians ace Al Rosen, and he has a lot in common with a certain over-hyped Austin-based singer-songwriter once known as Mr. Sandra Bullock (a.k.a. Bob Schneider). The sampled beats, the percussive acoustic guitar riffs, the monotone rap-singing — they all come straight from the Book of Bob. The title track even cribs from Schneider’s repertoire of funky, rootsy, booty-movin’ jams, with rapped verses and a balls-to-the-wall determination to par-tay: “Goin’ strong ‘til the break of dawn / It’s a sing-a-long.” Atop a bed of Wurlitzer tinkering, funked-up drumming, dobro slides, and record scratches, the song screams “white-boy trying way too hard” — but damn if it isn’t catchy as hell.

Thus the main problem with All of My Friends: The servings are big, but there’s no meat on the bones. The instrumentation is often beautiful — tasty percussion, rich organ tones, sweeping sprinkles of Spanish and electric guitar, twinkling banjo. But the lyrics are weak and inane, and they not only aren’t compatible with the music, they detract from it. I don’t care if you’ve got Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman playing behind you, a line like “Our love will never die / We’ll never say goodbye / We can be together ‘til the end of time” is gonna suck. The moral of the story: Our boy Goat needs to go baa-aa-ack into the barn and work on his lyrics. — Billy Walters


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