Eleven songs about the thrill of drugs, the challenges of a life of crime and the dangers of weather patterns, the work resonates for a variety of reasons.
The L.A.-based duo succeeds by mixing the best aspects of yacht rock, soft rock, boogie rock, meadow rock and country rock — but with the added urgency of gangsta rap. You can hear echoes of John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band's seminal work, Chris Gaines' unsung "In the Life of Chris Gaines" and Don Johnson's "Miami Vice"-era solo album, all of which combine to suggest an act in it for the proverbial long haul.
The only negative in this endeavor is a backing vocalist, Aimee Mann, whose appearance must have been some act of charity. She's pitchy, to say the least. The disconnect is especially apparent considering the enduring quality of the musicians surrounding her. Where does she get off tainting such perfection?
Heidecker & Wood
"Some Things Never Stay the Same"
(Little Record Company)
Three stars (out of four)