March 15, 2007

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Money Mark, Brand New By Tomorrow
Brushfire/Universal Records, 2007

Money Mark rather cleverly reinvested the hipness capital he earned during his stint as Beastie Boys producer in his no-fi funk-bombing debut Mark’s Keyboard Repair. Unfortunately he spent most of it on the vacant Push the Button, and as of BNBT his stock’s rating is officially down around Drop Like A Live Grenade. Granted, 2001’s Change Is Coming had its Isaac Hayes moments, but this is simply a disaster, alienating and downright mean-spirited toward fans. The scratchy, oafish horns, keys and danceability are completely gone, replaced by what amounts to the Chili Peppers wasting an entire LP – every single song – trying to reinvent “Across the Universe.” Now that might sound enticing to the army of 30somethings who bought enough Stadium Arcadiums to push it unjustly into the Hot 100 (am I seriously the only one who wanted to strangle that album?), but calm down, it’s not that, eh, good. As if Universal didn’t have enough problems, you can almost see the big bold headlines about mass firings right now. What a jerk, this guy” F Eric W. Saeger