By Alex Rendon
By C. Townsend Rizzo
By Lee Zimmerman
By Liz Tracy
By Liz Tracy
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Victor Gonzalez
"Whoever came up with that is definitely talented, man," Mistah Creepy says of Saw, in which a villain named Jigsaw tries to manipulate people into cutting one another up.
"I hate people on the whole," Muerte says. "People are killing people, raping old women and shit that's retarded. To rap about it, that's a different thing. That's how you feel, what you'd like to do to this motherfucker, because he's out doing this stupid-ass shit." Ben WesthoffThat's Amore
If Dean Martinhad been alive to celebrate his 89th birthday last month, he might have dropped his Titleist on the green in the hazy morning, then gone to some '50s diner for steak and eggs. One thing this seemingly garrulous yet unreachable star would not have done, though, was listen to the 12 CDs compiling his Capitol Records boom of the 1950s and early '60s.
Plenty of the material on the albums can be dismissed, despite the charming Brylcreem ooze of Martin's modest, imperturbable baritone. For every triumph of irresistible silliness such as "That's Amore" (included not on Cha Cha De Amor or Dino: Italian Love Songs but on Dean Martin Sings) these reissues offer two shaggy-dog shrug-alongs. Blame the troughs in listenability on the Sinatra-pioneered trend of bundling songs by theme rather than by quality. Here, then, is a guide to the highlights of three solid Martin concept records... and three he should have made. Album: This Time I'm Swingin'!
Concept: Martin borrows Sinatra's hat and his best arranger, Nelson Riddle.
Highs: A woozy "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," a devilish "Heaven Can Wait"
Low: Bonus track "Choo'n Gum"
Album: Swingin' Down Yonder
Concept: Reppin' the Dirty South
High: All involved must have been very high. Still, only Martin could have sold "When It's Sleepy Time Down South."
Lows: Actually, none.
Album: Hey, Brother, Pour the Wine
Concept: Capitol leftovers capitalizing the resurgent Martin, who pushed the Beatles out of the number-one spot on the singles chart in 1964 (with "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime") for Sinatra's new label, Reprise.
High: The absurd title track
Low: The more absurd "Peddler Man (Ten I Loved)"
Album: Dean Martin's Block Party
High: Martin's musical version of the Foxx routine "Mother Frockers and Cork Suckers"
Low: The all-cast Beatles medley "The Slappy White Album"
Album: When I Go a-Fishin'
Concept: The riverboat gambler of Down Yonder hits the sandbar.
Highs "My Tackle, Your Box"
Low: "That's My Line"
Album: Dean Martin: Craps!
Concept: The man whose death Las Vegas observed by dimming its lights rolls straight sevens with a tribute to his favorite town.
High: "Fuzzy Dice"
Low: "Poker? I Hardly Know Her" Scott Wilson
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