Mott The Hoople - Mott - Review
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critics' view

From the opening piano chords of "All the Way From Memphis" to the fadeout on the icy ballad "I Wish I Was Your Mother", Mott's sixth album is nothing short of a masterpiece, and one of - if not the - greatest albums in rock and roll. Producing the album themselves, it's such a quantum leap in quality from their previous releases that one wonders why they held back. Actually, the real question is what took them so long; after years of slogging it out, Mott have finally discovered how to marshall their forces and enable their killer riffs and hooks to emerge, instead of burying them underneath a sludgy murk. Hunter comes into his own as a songwriter, penning his strongest melodies and lyrics as the band offers sturdy power behind his ruminations. Mostly he's bitching about life on the road and the failure of a rock and roll band to achieve success, and in lesser hands such material would sound as self-pitying and whiny as you'd expect; but here the failure reads as tragedy, hitting the listener's emotions with a bittersweet poignancy.

Evenly split between crunching rockers and dramatic ballads, the band finds room for giddy pop ("Honaloochie Boogie" - "My hair gets longer as the beat gets stronger/Going to tell Chuck Berry my news"), snarling Clockwork Orange social commentary ("Violence"), only faltering with the flamenco-style instrumental near the end of the record. It's hard to tell which is the most poignant track. In "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople", Hunter recounts the story of how Mott broke up after playing in a converted gas tank in Zurich, mentioning all his bandmates by name, and admitting that playing music for a living is a chump's game but he can't quit. "I Wish I Was Your Mother", which closes out the album, begins prettily but turns into a bitter tale of alienation, as Hunter plays the role of a damaged punk who aches for tenderness and belonging but is too cynical and wounded to find either, and it's tearing him apart. It's an unforgettable end to a masterful album.

George Starostin
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Run by Georgiy Sergeevich "George" Starostin (born 4 July 1976), a Russian linguist. He is the son of the late historical linguist Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (1953–2005), and his work largely continues his father's. He is also known as a self-published music reviewer, author of the Only Solitaire Blog. external-link.png

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