JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN: Greatest Hits: LP

I bought this record at John Wesley Coleman’s release party. The show was free, there was free pizza (although I arrived having eaten dinner, missing the memo on pizza), the records were cheap, and half of your record purchase dollars were donated to a charity of your choice. Can’t get much cooler than that. Even though JWC has more releases under his belt than I can count, Greatest Hits isn’t a collection of favorites and chart-toppers, just the name of the album. This time around, we find JWC more somber and wistful (i.e. “Pick up the Phone,” a tune perhaps about how as we grow up we grow apart from friends). The Rolling Stones wish they could have written “Television.” But my main question is: where’s the rollicking, drunken sax party of Last Donkey Show? Dare I say JWC is less silly this go-around (and remember the man has a song called “Nightmare on Silly Street”)? Let’s not go that far. The sax sneaks in on side two, somewhere around “Portlandia.” There are still a few up-tempo romps like “Tea and Sandwiches” and “Miranda” so don’t worry, Mr. JWC can and will still bring the good times. 

 –Sal Lucci (Super Secret, supersecretrecords.com)