Velvet Crush

Why Not Your Baby

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Curiously, the follow-up to the stomping "Hold Me Up" is one of the two covers on Teenage Symphonies to God, but it's the right choice nonetheless. The late Gene Clark's "Why Not Your Baby" is the most effecting song on the LP, a true rock/country weeper from the original Byrds singer, whose lyrics stab the bleeding hearts of the sadly jilted the world over, in much the same delicious, knowing, penetrating way as Buffalo Springfield's "Expecting to Fly" and "Flying on the Ground Is Wrong." Paul Chastain's vocal pins the frozen-stomach nausea well on lines such as "Is this the change of mind that I've been designed for." To quote Burl Ives' snowman in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, "burrrrrrrrrrr" (chilled shake of shivering head). Besides calling attention to this overlooked prize, the EP also includes a live look at "My Blank Pages" from a Chicago gig with cult hero Tommy Keene on squealing lead guitar; and inspired drummer Ric Menck demonstrates what an animal he is in live settings. Whew! Even better is a new track, "It's Been Too Long and It's Too Late Now," which rips in the manner of "This Life Is Killing Me," one of their best songs of the last three years. Just as "Atmosphere" was originally a B-side, who decided this wasn't LP material? Finally, a new mix of "Time Wraps Around You" is better, nicer, and prettier than the Teenage one, though the difference is subtle.