Local Wire

Mike Lennon: Save The Earth

Band: Mike Lennon

Title: Save The Earth

Basics: A tame record from self-proclaimed rockabilly fanatic Mike Lennon, Save The Earth shows that absolutely anyone and everyone can get out there and record an album if they have the time and money to do it. Though that's no guarantee they have the talent or ingenuity to make their efforts worth it. Playing music in a dead genre is no deterrent for Lennon, who makes a nice case against the alt-country movement while he plows through 12 songs of boring, uninspired country/rockabilly. 

Best Song: "Rock Rock From The Planet Doc," the first track on the album, is a playful number that showcases just what Mike Lennon does best. Unfortunately, what he does best is play substandard rockabilly music. "Rock Rock" is a dreary reminder to listeners that the rest of the album will, in fact, sound like the song itself and that Save The Earth will not get any better.

Worst Song: The third track "C'mon, C'mon, C'mon." It's mislabeled on the provided CD (the back of the CD says it is the second song, yet it is actually the third song), it uses a drum machine and it is called "C'mon, C'mon, C'mon" -- there is very little to nothing enjoyable about this song. It sounds like an awful rip-off of "Walk Right In" by folk trio The Rooftop Singers, and that is perhaps the best thing I can say about this song.

Suggested Changes: For having cut his musical teeth in 1980's Greenwich Village, Mike Lennon seems to have forgotten what it was like to be a part of that particular scene. Save The Earth, is straight Arizona-style alt-country which comes across as uninspired. The track listing on the provided CD is a complete mess -- hardly any of the actual songs on the album itself correspond to the correct name on the CD's given tracklist. That right there is enough to show me that Lennon simply rushed out this album. 

I don't enjoy having to hunt down an actual tracklist because an artist fucked that up in the first place. Even if the album is somewhat enjoyable, that will just ruin any credibility it may have already earned.

In fact, the tracklist on Lala for Save The Earth shows that the tracklist on the back of the CD correctly names three out of 12 songs. Three out of a possible twelve. Also, the Lala tracklist names the same song "Maybe This Time" for both tracks 10 and 11 and the song "I'm Above" magically turns into "I'm Alone" on Lala. 

Grade: Incomplete. The presentation of Save The Earth -- not to mention the album itself --  is an utter mess that needs to start with a correct tracklist. If it seems that I am harping on that particular fact, then I suppose I am. I am just confused as to how that could even be an issue for someone who has been recording music as long as Mike Lennon has. If you don't care enough to provide your album with a correct tracklist, then don't expect people to care enough to actually listen to it.

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032