Ian Dury & the Blockheads / Ian Dury

Do It Yourself

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    9
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Ian Dury's music always bordered on the functional, since it was used as a backdrop for his wry vignettes and stories, but on his second album, Do It Yourself, that aspect came to the fore. Largely abandoning the punk inflections that were scattered throughout New Boots and Panties!, Do It Yourself is a record of midtempo pub rock disco -- competently played, but rarely engaging. Dury's stories are all wonderful, filled with humor and penetrating detail, but only a handful of tracks, such as the terrific "Inbetweenies," are married to actual hooks, and by the end of the record, the steady disco throb has become a little numbing. Even with these faults, Do It Yourself remains one of Dury's very best records, since his lyrical facility throughout the album is simply amazing.

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