Rhythm & Views

Spencer Dickinson

A pleasing air of malevolent irreverency clings to all 19 tracks on The Man Who Lives for Love by Spencer Dickinson, a collaboration between Blues Explosion hot shot Jon Spencer and Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. Spencer does here what he does best anywhere else in his considerable body of work: He sneers, yelps and emotes from the bottom of a chaotic, swampy mix of blues, soul and chicken-fried funk--all delivered with an attitude the size of the Grand Canyon. Spencer's manic mojo clearly rubbed off on the Dickinson boys, who have never sounded so raw and flat-out nasty. The ringer here is legendary (really!) producer/instigator Jim Dickinson, father of Luther and Cody, whose knob work, keyboards and backwoods Mississippi studio gave this devilish (s)mash-up the perfect nasty-but-nice edge.

Everyone is clearly having a ball but they are also taking care of business, laying down variations on a treacherous, whiskey-soaked house party sex beat. Song titles go a long way here: "Primitive," "Sat Morn Cartoons," "Zigaboo" and "(Chug Chug) It's Not OK" all sum up what you get. Rockers like "Why!?" and "I'm Not Ready" dance around proto-funk/soul tracks like "Free" and the bluesy/funk "The Man Who Lives for Love." The point is that it doesn't really matter what they're doing; it's all a gas, it all sounds fabulous (thank you, Jim Dickinson) and it's all wickedly, perfectly dangerous.

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