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Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Living with the Living | Touch & Go
By LEON NEYFAKH  |  May 1, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars
Ted Leo is dad-like, his tenderness enthusiastic but ultimately more of a spectacle than the infectious ball of fire it’s supposed to be. Especially here, on his fifth album with his band the Pharmacists, Leo’s positivity comes off a bit synthetic. The heart is here, but the lyrics have him sounding like a man who’s turned healing into a systematic process — a man who’s heard too much kind advice or maybe sat through too much therapy. He’s a prophet of recovery, and so the subject matter is all symptoms, hopes, helpful suggestions: “Why don’t you up and let things change, dear?” (“Who Do You Love”); “The best advice I ever had was leave what was behind/But did I see some value there/Or am I going blind?” (“Toro and the Toreador”). The melodies, meanwhile, are mostly catchy, if clumsy, but that doesn’t pay the bills when you could be listening to songs by Screeching Weasel or the Mr. T Experience that are no less direct but a good deal more tuneful.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists + Love Of Diagrams | Avalon, 15 Lansdowne Street, Boston | May 4 | 617.931.2000
  Topics: CD Reviews , Ted Leo , Ted Leo , Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
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