Eddie Chatterbox on Broadway, Vol. 1 presents solo performances probably recorded in the late '90s or early 2000s. Eugene Chadbourne plays guitar and banjo and sings. This intimate setting turns the mad Doctor of American avant-garde into a slightly deranged crooner. His songbook blends original songs and standard tunes, a few taken from Broadway musicals. Some are rather predictable, like "It's the Talk of the Town," "I'm Glad There Is You," or "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore." But his solo hardcore version of "The Sound of Music" is the perfect reminder, as if any were needed, that in Chadbourne-land things can take a turn for the strangest -- or the worst -- in a second. "The Sky Got Flatter" is still a very convincing song, no matter how he arranges it, and his rendition of "I Won't Grow Up" is not only entertaining, it's absolutely believable. This CD-R has most of the cons of Chadbourne's self-produced solo albums: uneven sound quality, crude edits, off-key vocals, and his humming during the instrumental bits, something that can be unnerving at times. But this set is more consistent than Eddie Chatterbox on Broadway, Vol. 2 and overall one of his best releases in this particular field, which nonetheless makes it an item for devoted fans only.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture