Warren Zevon

Reconsider Me: The Love Songs

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Warren Zevon went to his grave with most people thinking of him as "that 'Werewolves of London' guy," an image that short-changed both his talent and his legacy. Zevon's acerbic wit and industrial-strength cynicism were usually at the forefront in his songs, but he was always capable of a great deal more, and he wrote songs revealing a compassion and a gentle humanism that quietly but firmly made their presence known on his best albums. Reconsider Me: The Love Songs is a compilation that focuses on the softer side of Zevon's repertoire, and the 13 songs on board certainly make the case that there was a merciful and wounded soul at the heart of the beast that was his public persona. "Please Stay" and "Reconsider Me" are emotionally naked missives from a man all too aware of his failings, "Hostage-O" finds Zevon spinning his obsession with crime and darkness into a different direction, and "She's Too Good for Me" is a ruefully telling portrait of a relationship that's failed. However, this album suffers from the fact it focuses primarily on the late-period material Zevon recorded for Artemis Records, with nine of the 13 songs drawn from either 2000's Life'll Kill Ya or 2003's The Wind. As a consequence, a number of songs that really ought to be here are conspicuous in their absence -- "Hasten Down the Wind," "Empty-Handed Heart," "Nobody's in Love This Year," and his cover of Judee Sill's "Jesus Was a Crossmaker." Reconsider Me: The Love Songs is frustratingly incomplete, but what is on hand makes a powerful case for the diversity of Zevon's skills, and makes for a moving collection from a singular artist.

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