Velvet Elvis

Velvet Elvis

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Velvet Elvis' 1988 self-titled album is a tremendous improvement over 1986's What in the World. Guitarist Dan Trisko's lead vocals are far more self-assured, and the songs (mostly Trisko's, although keyboardist Jeff Yurkowski and bassist Scott Stoess contribute the excellent, moody ballad "This Could Be") are equally up to scratch. Mitch Easter's typically excellent production de-emphasizes the country touches of the debut, though the occasional twang peeks through, as on the Beat Rodeo-like country-rocker "Something Better." The results are solid, utterly unpretentious pop/rock that sounds terrific while you're listening to the album. Unfortunately, however, as thoroughly appealing and unfailingly pleasant as this music is, there's a certain facelessness to the whole affair that makes it difficult to remember much about the album after it's over. Only the opening "When It Comes" and a superior re-recording of the first album's title track really stand out as particularly memorable tunes. Still, the creative leap between this album and its predecessor promised better things for the group's future; unfortunately, Velvet Elvis broke up before a follow-up could be recorded.

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