Alex Chilton

Cliches/Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy

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Alex Chilton is a curious sort of cat. Blessed with a wonderful and versatile voice, a raggedly exact guitar style, solid songwriting skills, and enough skewed pop smarts to make even the dumbest material appear almost vital, he also seems intent on thumbing his nose at all expectations, choosing instead to put out album after album of frustratingly scattered bits of flotsam. This two-disc package from Last Call combines two such projects, the solo acoustic Cliches and the live in-the-studio Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy (called Set in its U.S. incarnation), both of which are more about conception than execution. Cliches centers on pop standards, but Chilton's I'm-so-cool-and-sincere (maybe) vocals fail to redefine anything, and the ironic title is, well, ironic. Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy fares a little better, with Chilton's lazy, snot-nose approach giving songs like "I've Never Found a Girl" and his cover of Stuff Smith's reefer classic "If You's a Viper" the kind of loose perfection that his fans treasure. Together, these two sets make a kind of "plugged" and "unplugged" sense, even if it is only combining two examples of Chilton simply treading water.

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