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#4 Record - You Am I


Label:Rooart Records
Released:1998
Highlights:Junk
Billy
Heavy Heart
Guys, Girls and Guitars
...And Vandalism

Rating: 10/10


Produced with the help of famed producer George Drakoulias in Los Angeles, You Am Iís imaginatively titled fourth album is their tightest and most realised yet. Full of perfect pop, Stones swagger and heartbreaking ballads, You Am Iís #4 Record should not only consolidate their claim as the best Australian band of the last decade but should also be their ticket to international recognition.

The opening track Junk, with its mean guitar and slick horn section, is reminiscent of the Saints classic Know Your Product and is probably the most ferocious track ever recorded by the band. On the other hand, What I Donít Know About You is made for radio airplay and is one of the sweetest pop songs ever written by Tim Rogers. Then thereís Billy, with its distorted vocals, feedback intro and garage rock guitars, which send the message that You Am I still know how to rock (L.A.M.F).

However, unlike many other records, You Am Iís #4 Record actually improves as you move onto the other side. Come Home Wití Me is an almost soulful number that is impressive in both its scope and execution, perfectly complemented by The Memphis Horns and a stunning piano break by Benmont Tench. Heavy Heart is another heartbreaking Rogers lament, perhaps his best yet with some brilliant lyrics. I can particularly relate to lines like;

Been watching so much TV, Iím thinner than I should be
Iím like a waterlogged ball that no one wants to kick Ďround anymore
An all-day morning hairdo that no comb can get thru...


Although Rumble is not as hard hitting as it could have been, it nevertheless is a great song with a great singalong chorus of R-A-D-I-O, courtesy of the Muffs Kim Stattuck, that youíll be singing along with in time. The same goes for Guys, Girls, Guitars, another brilliant Rogers pop song that contains an unexpectedly loud guitar solo that really makes the song come alive. Plans shows that You Am I are nothing but a great rock and roll band while the closing song ...And Vandalism is perhaps the low key highlight of the album with its acoustic guitar, organ and plaintive singing.

Like ever other You Am I album, You Am Iís #4 Record has its own personality. Its rough and ready approach and drunk demeanour is in stark contrast to the happy beat pop of Hourly Daily. However, You Am I have never sounded so together and Tim Rogers singing is the best it has ever been. You Am I have come up with the goods yet again.


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