NRBQ

Scraps

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

For the uninitiated, NRBQ is an oddity. How does one, for instance, approach a band who sings a song like "Howard Johnson's Got His Ho-Jo Working?" The answer may be, "not very seriously," but then another problem reveals itself: the songs are so catchy. "Who Put the Garlic in the Glue?" and "Magnet" bounce along like an early-'70s version of Ben Folds Five. Together, pianist Terry Adams, bassist Joey Spampinato, guitarist Al Anderson, drummer Tom Staley, and vocalist Frank Gadler find a bigger sound than the sum of their parts. Scraps is filled with pop music that manages the dual feat of making the listener feel good while remaining intelligent. The songs, with a couple of exceptions, are only two to three minutes long; that equals out to 14 cuts from the original album, which was a lot of tracks in 1972. There is also a great deal of breadth in Spampinato and Adams' songwriting, from the rocking "Don't You Knock at My Door" to the instrumental "Tragic Magic" to the gentle "Only You." Spampinato, who had written very little on previous albums, wrote several gentle ballads, including "Boys in the City" and "It's Not So Hard." John DeAngelis' liner notes keep tabs on NRBQ's evolving lineup and provide good information on the context of the recording. Scraps' appeal sneaks up on the listener, reminding them that some music is just meant to be enjoyed.

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