Picks and Pans Review: Me and the Boys

updated 05/10/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/10/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Dave Edmunds

England's ageless rockabilly wonder has come up with one of the best albums of the year. He proves, among other things, that he does not need Nick Lowe and Rockpile—the band he and Lowe shared for seven years—to make pure, energized rock 'n' roll. The songs range from breakneck hillbilly to a piano-only ballad, One More Night, sung and played with unexpected emotion. Everything in between is the Edmunds' signature sound at its sublime best: high twangy harmonies so tight they sound like one voice; hard pumping and shuffling drums (Dave Charles); honky-tonk piano (Geraint Watkins); staccato guitars. As his own producer, Edmunds has adventurously expanded his sound—using horns on Deep in the Heart of Texas and Bruce Springsteen's terrific From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come), written just for this album. He even uses a Cajun accordion on Louisiana Man. One after another, these tunes kick so hard they give a whiplash thrill.

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