Release code: ODI173694
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Release Info: BRIAN SETZER - The Knife Feels Like Justice + Live Nude Guitars
LP EMI America 1986 LP EMI America 1988 CD reissue American Beat Recordings 2007 "After the Stray Cats broke up for the first of several times in 1984, guitarist and frontman Brian Setzer seemed determined to prove he could do a lot more than make like Eddie Cochran, and his first solo set was 1986's surprisingly ambitious The Knife Feels Like Justice. Leaving his rockabilly influences at home for the time being, Setzer reinvented himself as a thoughtful heartland rocker on this set, which shows clear influences of Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp's work of the period, and his snappy retro guitar work was replaced by the jangly peal of a Rickenbacker, though his fretwork was no less impressive in this new context, especially on the rollicking Radiation Ranch and the atmospheric title cut. Setzer also dipped his toes into old-school R&B on Bobby's Back, and demonstrated a previously unaired concern for social justice on Maria and Aztec; while Setzer's songwriting wasn't always quite as sharp as the folks he clearly emulated, there's a heart and sincerity to this material that's genuine and affecting, even when his lyrics lean to the obvious. (...) Setzer demonstrates some typically fine guitar work on Live Nude Guitars, but it's a creative hodgepodge that desperately needs a cleaner focus, and suggests he was in need of a new creative direction; the next time Setzer was heard from as a solo artist, he was fronting his big band, the Brian Setzer Orchestra". (Mark Deming, All-Music Guide) LISTEN & ENJOY