A movie about a woman who suffers a traumatic head injury and a resulting exponential jump in her sex drive is par for the course for John Waters, and the soundtrack to A Dirty Shame is just as typically bawdy and campy. Beginning with "Let's Go Sexin," by James Intveld (who provided Johnny Depp's singing voice in Cry Baby), which mixes rockabilly vocals, in-heat saxophones, and theremins, the album revels in the most gleefully smutty corners of classic R&B, rock & roll, and rockabilly, including such lusty classics as Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford's "I Need Your Lovin'" -- which is plenty randy even if it's not explicit -- as well as Faye Richmonde's "Tony's Got Hot Nuts" and Billy Lee Riley's "Red Hot." Even the tracks that don't engage in adolescently witty wordplay, like Johnny Burnette's "Eager Beaver Baby" and Connie Vannett's "The Pussy Cat Song," in which she insists (with an audible wink) that it's "just a friendly little cat," manage to be quite, um, expressive. Both Slim Harpo's "Baby Scratch My Back" and Screamin' Jay Hawkins' aptly named "Moanin'" say just as much, if not more, with nearly wordless vocalizing and swaggering rhythms. Even the musical cold shower that is the Cowboy Church Sunday School's chipmunky version of "Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sun Shine In)" isn't enough to counteract the campy carnality of Run C&W's "Itchy Twitchy Spot" or the David Raksin Orchestra's louchely lush "Sylvia." Waters' funny, and more than slightly crazed, liner notes would be worth the price of admission alone, but fortunately A Dirty Shame actually works as a collection of songs as well as a frisky concept.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares