The title more or less says it all.
This was the first time in the past month and a half that I was able to complete my mountain bike-swim-mountain bike workout (click HERE) successfully, given that the roads were passable for the first time. Having said that, that doesn’t mean it was necessarily easy either, what with the stupid easterly wind blowing directly in my face the entire way there.
That’s not too shabby, right?
Anyway, I’m home now and warming up with some of Kelly’s homemade minestrone soup and this ‘Glass Houses‘ album by Billy Joel.
This was the first of three Goodwill Hunting albums I found at the Value Village in St. Catharines, Ontario yesterday while shopping for new work clothes.
And, yes I know…but it’s Billy-fucking-Joel!
Why is this significant you ask?
Well, because I absolutely cannot stand Billy Joel.
Sorry, but it’s true, but for $2.00 how can I say ‘No‘?
Especially knowing that the wife would undoubtedly like it.
I know, I’m the Husband of the Year.
The back-to-back success of ‘The Stranger‘ and ‘52nd Street‘ may have brought Billy ample fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn’t bring him critical respect, and it didn’t dull his anger.
Poor, poor Billy.
If anything, being classified as a mainstream rocker – a soft rocker – infuriated him, especially since a generation of punks and new wave kids were getting the praise that eluded him. He didn’t take this lying down – he recorded this album instead.
Well, good for Billy.
Comparatively a harder-rocking album than either of its predecessors, with a distinctly bitter edge, ‘Glass Houses‘ still displays the hallmarks of Billy Joel the pop craftsman and Phil Ramone the world-class hitmaker. Even its hardest songs – the terrifically paranoid ‘Sometimes a Fantasy‘, ‘Sleepin’ With the Television On‘, ‘Close to the Borderline‘, the hit ‘You May Be Right‘ – have bold, direct melodies and clean arrangements, ideal for radio play.
And Lord knows we’ve heard them all about a zillion times ad nauseum.
Instead of turning out to be a fiery rebuttal to his detractors, the album is a remarkable catalog of contemporary pop styles, from McCartney-esque whimsy (‘Don’t Ask Me Why‘) and arena rock (‘All for Leyna‘) to soft rock (‘C’etait Toi [You Were the One]’) and stylish new wave pop (‘It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me‘, which ironically is closer to new wave pop than rock). That’s not a detriment; that’s the album’s strength and one of the few Billy Joel songs I still enjoy.
It may not be punk – then again, it may be his concept of punk – but ‘Glass Houses‘ is the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album.
And, okay, I admit…I haven’t vomited yet.
I mean, I’m not doing cartwheels around the living room or anything but, the wife is happy and the soup was good and the present vibe here at the moment is nice so, yeah, it’s okay…