New York Dolls
Cause I Sez So

Release Date: May 05, 2009
Produced by: Todd Rundgren
Format: CD



Matt Rowe


With only two influential albums from the '70s and with the original lineup, the New York Dolls have a whole lot of Rock 'n Roll history tied up.  Not only did they help to reshape music, but they spun off the memorable Johnny Thunders, who is perhaps the most successful in terms of recorded output after the breakup of the band.  To be fair, all members had their hand in solo work, with David Johansen creating some excellent work for Blue Sky Records. 

Their legendary first album was produced by Todd Rundgren, who returned to the controls to produce this, their latest contribution to Rock, Cause I Sez So.  The question here is did the two surviving members (David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain) of the original lineup create an album that adds to the story of the band.  The answer is an easy yes, with notations.

Bear in mind that this is NOT the original lineup that had the fiery Thunders within its unpredictable fold, nor does it have the basslines of Arthur “Killer” Kane, nor the drums of Jerry Nolan.  Having said that it is easier to approach this latest album.  David and Syl have aligned themselves with some excellent musicians in Steve Conte (guitars), Sami Yaffa (bass), and Brian Delaney (drums).  Together, they very effectively make Cause I Sez So an album of energetic NYC music, extraordinary considering the times we musically live in.

The album's twelve tracks is a walk through the same alleys that the original band tred.  It may not have the bite and sting of their debut, but it is easily a progression that could have been the album that the original might have made.  There is much of David Johansen in this album.  Vocally, he makes the album very familiar to NYDolls fans.  Musically, the album shifts from grit on the very Dolls-like “Cause I Sez So” to a more restrained “Muddy Bones.”  It slithers from the very enjoyable “Better Than You,” to the solo Johansen-like “Lonely So Long.” 

“My World” is characteristically Stones-like as the title's strong foray into album rock.  I can't help but feel that Conte has to hold himself back here.  On “My World” you can hear the electricity crackle on his guitar but it's not the lightning bolt it wants to be.  Some excellent blues comes out on “This is Ridiculous.”  The remaining six songs are part of what is already an excellent New York Dolls album that can be warmly slotted next to the original two.  They remake the original album's first single, the classic “Trash” but re-imagine it as a softer, reggae-styled tune.  Respectful and I like it, but I think that I would have loved to hear it close a gap between the two NYDolls periods.  The closer tune, “Exorcism of Despair” is pure classic New York Dolls.

I want more.  Here's hoping they supply it.  I'm calling this one of the year's best which is a testament to the power still bottled up in Johansen and Sylvain and their ability to direct the newest members to channel classic Dolls.









Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
All rights reserved.All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
" best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)