Time Flies...The Best of Huey Lewis & the News

Huey Lewis & The News

Elektra, 1996


REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


[Adapted from a review originally appearing in On The Town magazine on January 7, 1997]

“You’re reviewing Huey Lewis?” said an acquaintance the other night with barely disguised contempt. “That should be a slam dunk.” Well, you know, he has a point. What's to admire, really, about a basically one-note band whose climb to the top of the charts was led by cheesy outside-written Top 40 knockoffs like 1982’s “Do You Believe In Love?” and 1983’s “Heart And Soul”? And that's not even touching “Buzz Buzz Buzz.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But it turns out Huey knew exactly what he was doing all along, as revealed by his quotation of the band's simple mantra: “always keep it pure, keep it honest.” Granted, to anyone who didn't grow up suburban whitebread like yours truly, Huey’s vision of purity and honesty may seem a little lightweight, but listen to the music. The man truly believes in the innocent come-ons of songs like “Doing It All For My Baby” and “Stuck With You”; he honestly feels the “aw shucks” giddiness of “The Heart Of Rock & Roll” and “I Want a New Drug” deep in his soul. He stacks the music with ’50s rock and roll cliches, piles on his own vision of uncomplicated, idealized fun and romance, and runs with it for all he’s worth.

The best number he ever produced (and, happily, his biggest hit), “The Power of Love,” is also a pretty fair lyric, managing to hit on most of the various things love can do for (and against) us in a clever way and wrapping it up in a song whose driving rock choruses frame the small, sweet ballad tucked into the break.

It’s not the Mona Lisa, but Huey and company have never been about Art; they're about having a good time, free from the cynicism and negativity that envelops so much of the world today. So leave your pretensions at the door and just goof for a while. It’s not so bad... you might even have a little fun.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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