GORDON GANO Hitting The Ground (Instinct) Rating: NN Rating: NN
Someone must've figured out that the reason the Violent Femmes' debut sold platinum without ever cracking the Billboard top 200 had as much to do with singer Gord Gano's radio-unfriendly voice as it did with his compelling compositions. So for Hitting The Ground, people with less annoying voices -- Lou Reed, John Cale, PJ Harvey, Frank Black, They Might Be Giants, Mary Lou Lord, Linda Perry, etc -- are brought in to sing Gano's tunes for him. Problem solved, right? Wrong. While the songs are decent enough and there's a merciful reduction in the whine factor, half the invited guests -- perhaps unaware of the scheme -- try to mimic Gano's adenoidal bleating, defeating the whole purpose of the exercise. Oops.