Vodka Collins

Boy's Life

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Vodka Collins' last album, the B-side collection Boy's Life, is a bizarre mishmash of unreleased tracks from three of the band's '90s sessions. Where their '70s career had a wide-eyed naïveté about it that made their music quite endearing, their '90s reunion presented singer Alan Merrill as a wily road veteran. His blues-rock stylings can work on certain tracks, but for the most part this really does sound like a B-sides collection. The music here is below Merrill's usual standards, and the hooks are far too reminiscent of other likeminded songs. Still, his knack for ballads shines through, and the gorgeous "Bridge to the Moon" serves as an excellent example of how good he can really be when he puts his mind to it. And the bluesy "Foreign Prince of Tokyo" is a nice reflection on the band's career that shows a clever insight missing from much of the material found here. But despite these songs, most of the quality reunion material can be found on Pink Soup and Chemical Reaction. Merrill is an underrated songwriter, but this album just does not gel and is for dedicated fans of the band only.

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