Various Artists

I Need You Bad

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Sonny Smith is a guy who wears many musical hats. Folk singer, garage folk revivalist, conceptual artist, the guy can do anything he puts his mind to and the records he's made in the 2000s, both solo and with his backing band the Sunsets, have been consistently engaging and worth checking out. Turns out he's good at compiling albums, too. I Need You Bad is Smith's attempt at capturing the cream of the San Francisco (and surrounding areas) noisy pop crop, and he does a knockout job of rounding up really good bands and getting them to cough up really good songs, too. Starting off with a taut garage rock love song from Warm Soda (Tell Me in a Whisper"), the collection leaps from energetic rockers (like Wet Illustrated's "Honey Goes," which sounds like Kim Gordon covering a King Tuff track), to sweet midtempo ballads that conjure up '60s Beat groups (Memories' "Higher"), and heavily mascara'ed girl groups (Cool Ghouls' "Hot Summer"), introspective indie folk warbling (Jessica Pratt's fragile "Dreams"), to washed-out dream pop (Fronds' "Wash"), and lots of weirdly off-kilter psychedelic noise pop (topped by Burnt Ones' fiery "Premonition"). Just to show he's not about to be outdone by his peers, Smith and the Sunsets kick in one of the album's highlights with the chugging "Those Drawings I Told You About." It all makes for the best kind of compilation as it gathers up a nice mix of known bands and undiscovered gems, gets strong songs from each band and not just throwaways, and is sequenced perfectly from beginning to end. Nobody is suggesting that Smith give up making music, but if he did, he could turn his hand to running a label, and with his excellent ear for talent, he could make a serious go of it.

blue highlight denotes track pick