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Album Review

Your Country

March 10, 2004

Country music is often the last refuge of the aging rocker, but there's nothing remotely dilettantish about this angry not-so-young man's foray into the genre. Even in his earliest days, Parker had a certain tear-in-your-beer aura about him, a vibe that's...

Album Review

Deepcut To Nowhere

August 21, 2001
Not Rated

Graham Parker has always been a spiky one. And now, after twenty-five years of service — and with no gold watch or multi-platinum parachute in sight — the old boy is plenty cranky. "I'll Never Play Jacksonville Again" could be a love letter...

Album Review

Burning Questions

September 17, 1992

She walks past but you can't form a whistle," Graham Parker sings on "Platinum Blonde," one of thirteen tracks on Burning Questions. "Even her lips look artificial/You wanna follow her but you can't swallow her act." Only a handful of contemporary artists...

Album Review

Human Soul

February 8, 1990

Ever since he brought British soul punk to songwriting in 1976, Graham Parker has been working on the difficult second act of his career. Lacking Elvis Costello's ingenuity or Joe Jackson's ambition, the more simply talented Parker has never reinvented...

Album Review

The Mona Lisa's Sister

May 19, 1988

The Mona Lisa's Sister, Graham Parker's most compelling record in nearly a decade, is a raw meditation on desire and disappointment from a man who has felt — and feels — with a fierce intensity. In song after song, Parker examines how media...

Album Review

The Real Macaw

September 15, 1983

Just because Graham Parker has become a most happy fella doesn't mean he's a wimp. The joys of marital life have taken some of the snarl out of Parker's prickly world view, but they haven't taken the bite out of his music. The Real Macaw, a propulsive,...

Album Review

The Up Escalator

July 24, 1980
Not Rated

There's a big gap between being a rock & roll classicist and actually turning out classics. Specifically, it's the difference between reaffirming traditional rock truisms and reinvigorating them — between, say. Tom Petty, whose rich and ringing...

Album Review

The Parkerilla

June 15, 1978
Not Rated

They think it's a show," English rocker Graham Parker muttered one night last fall, coming off a stage in Phoenix. "But it isn't a show, it's real." The Parkerilla, three sides of live material (side four is taken up by a new studio version of "Don't...

Album Review

Heat Treatment

December 30, 1976
Not Rated

Heat Treatment, Graham Parker's second Mercury album, confirms the promise of his debut, Howlin' Wind, which appeared earlier this year. The rapidity of the followup is not the result of any change of direction; rather it reflects Parker's and the Rumour's...

Album Review

12 Haunted Episodes

May 18, 1995

Inconsistently brilliant, Graham Parker has soared (Howlin' Wind, Squeezing Out Sparks) and slumped (The Real Macaw) ever since starting out as a bardic pub rocker in 1976. His best work in years, 12 is also his subtlest. On "Pollinate," the writer famed...

Album Review

Struck by Lightning

March 7, 1991

There aren't many singer-song-writers who hit their creative stride fifteen years into their career, but then again there aren't many singer-songwriters like Graham Parker. And as his exquisite new album, Struck by Lightning, makes utterly clear, we sure...

Album Review

Live! Alone in America

March 23, 1989

What are we going to do about Graham Parker? More to the point, what is he going to do? Last year the former pubrock king stopped trying to make slick hits and put out The Mona Lisa's Sister. The record, with its stripped-down R&B, was not only Parker's...

Album Review

Steady Nerves

June 6, 1985
Not Rated

Once upon a time, Graham Parker was pub rock's rawest nerve and, along with Elvis Costello, New Wave's most literate malcontent. Nowadays, he's a happily married man who can boast of steady nerves, having put emotional traumas behind him. The question...

Album Review

Another Grey Area

April 1, 1982

Graham Parker couldn't have a good time if his career depended on it. His most memorable songs are powered by rage at something he can't get, whether it's answers to life-and-death questions or an easy lay. When Parker's frustrated, he plays the existential...

Album Review

Squeezing Out Sparks

May 17, 1979
Not Rated

Graham Parker's first two albums remain among the very finest of the decade: lyrical, intense, emotionally specific; a rough and untrained voice somehow merging perfectly with the Anglicized Blonde on Blonde /Stax-Volt classicism of the band. It was a...

Album Review

Stick To Me

December 1, 1977
Not Rated

Graham Parker is unquestionably the most exciting new rock performer since Bruce Springsteen. He is a ferocious singer and an obsessively lyrical writer with a sense of rock bounded by (sort of) Presley and Dylan plus a deft touch for R&B and reggae....

Album Review

Howlin' Wind

July 29, 1976
Not Rated

On his first album, Graham Parker draws unabashedly from some of the most powerful stylistic devices of Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. While he sometimes goes too far, Parker is justified time and again by the Rumour's exciting approach. Led...

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