Speak of the Devil explores the same moody terrain as Chris Isaak's previous records, though the songs are fleshed out with more contemporary touches. The leadoff track, "Please," is unusually hard-hitting, with its acoustic/electric/soft/crash structure, Mellotron, and soundbite lyrics. "I'm Not Sleepy" is a roots rock rave-up (wherein Isaak lyrically quotes Lennon's "Oh Yoko": "In the middle of the night I cry your name"); the title cut is an eerie celebration of love lost and found; "Talkin' 'Bout a Home" is the album's tour de force. Yet, some of the loungy vocal touches in "Flying" and the final instrumental track, "Super Magic 2000," would be right at home on an indie rock record. And of course there's plenty of that thing Isaak does best: quintessential love's-gone-wrong-'n'-let's-make-it-right songs, as on the loping, country-tinged "This Time" and the teary "Walk Slow."
Speak of the Devil Review
by Denise Sullivan