Speak of the Devil (Reprise Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Always a man with a great ear for a solid pop hook -- and subsequently giving his fans the pop fix they need -- Chris Isaak's new album is no exception. A beautiful piece of art, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL is both musically and lyrically sound.
On the lyrical side, Chris is able to conjure up crafty lines that follow the music nicely. Working side by side, you find yourself tapping and humming along with the music. And then, when the lyrics hit, you begin signing along without even realizing it.
A lot of the songs deal with love: love gone wrong, meeting someone and falling in love, as well as pain and happiness dealing with love. The album definitely covers every feeling or aspect that love is able to stir up. Whether it be regret, anger, sorrow, or happiness, Chris is able to make you feel his words through his deeply sensitive, relate-able voice. Penetrating even the darkest of souls, if the words don't get you, the voice will. Very smooth, with a slick touch to it, you'll be remembering it after the first words are muttered on the album.
On the musical side of things, this album ranges from very soft to mid tempo, slightly bouncy pop numbers. During the soft moments, which covers a lot of this album, Chris will have feeding off his every word (emotion). Then, when he decides to tone things up a bit, he'll have your toes tappin', your lips moving, and your body shakin'. Although, the body shakin' moments are limited, when they do pop up, you'll be spinning along with them.
If there was any doubt about Chris Isaak's ability to still work a hook over on a crowd, then this album should put them to rest. A bit mundane during some spots, and possibly the first few listens through the album, once you listen to it a fair amount of time, it'll grow on you like unwanted hair. A solid album from start to finish. I'll give it a B+.