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Juliette And The Licks - You're Speaking My Language

  by Mark Rowland

published: 19 / 5 / 2005

Juliette And The Licks - You're Speaking My Language
Label: Hassle Records
Format: CD


First full album from actress Juliette Lewis' band the Licks, which while a better effort than many considering Hollywood’s track record with the music business. still shows once again that rock 'n' roll and actors don't mix

Rock ‘n’ roll and actors generally don’t mix. You just have to look at Keanu Reeves’, Russell Crowe’s and Bruce Willis’ musical endeavours to see that. Yet more and more actors are lining up to try to make it as a rock star, as if playing in a band would make them more ‘credible’. At least Juliette Lewis is giving it a proper go. For the last two years her band the Licks has been touring pretty much non-stop, and she has got herself a reputation as a good live performer. She also has a pretty good rock ‘n’ roll voice, husky, raw and powerful. Her backing band is obviously accomplished, with songs obviously influenced by Patti Smith, the Pretenders and early 90's Riot Grrl punk. So they have a good sound, a good singer and a good live show, but they need to work on their songs. The Licks are a hundred times better then the average actor band, but they sound like a diluted, slightly over-produced version of their influences. When it works, it works well – the title track is strong and ‘American Boy Vol 1’ brings to mind Patti Smith’s partially spoken-word songs, but in general, the songs are a bit weak (although this applies to many bands’ debut albums). Ms Lewis also has to work on her lyrics, which are mediocre at best, at worst laughably awful, (“I beat your dog ‘cause he hit on my cat”?!). Most of the songs on ‘You’re Speaking My Language’ have at least one duff line in their somewhere, which often distracts attention from the actual music. The lyrics are also unnecessarily teen-angsty in places, a shame really considering that Lewis is such a successful Hollywood actress. Despite these snags, ‘You’re Speaking My Language’ is a pretty good effort considering Hollywood’s track record with the music business. Perhaps if they come to record a second album, their extensive road work will focus their efforts. Until then, you’re better off sticking with your old Patti Smith records.

Track Listing:-
1 Intro
2 You're Speaking My Language
3 Money in My Pocket
4 American Boy, Vol. 2
5 I Never Got to Tell You What I Wanted To
6 This I Know
7 Pray for the Band Latoya
8 So Amazing
9 By the Heat of Your Life
10 Got Love to Kill (Remix)
11 Seventh Sign
12 Long Road out of Here

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Juliette and the Licks (2007)
Juliette And The Licks - Juliette and the Licks
The band of Oscar-nominated actress Juliette Lewis, Juliette and the Licks have won acclaim both for their albums and their blistering live shows. Katie Anderson photographs the band at a gig at the Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms

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Got Love To Kill (2005)
Enchanting, if unoriginal high voltage rock 'n' roll from Hollywood star Juliette Lewis back with a second single from her debut album
You're Speaking My Language (2005)

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