Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christine Lavin – If You’re Drunk You Cannot Buy a Puppy

If You’re Drunk You Cannot Buy a Puppy

After a health scare last summer, the always-delightful Christine Lavin has returned with her 21st solo album. Like many of her earlier records, If You’re Drunk You Cannot Buy a Puppy is a collection of mostly funny and, occasionally, serious songs – a few of them recorded live.

The album opens with the very witty “Women Walking Wearing Wings,” a hipster-jazz piece that deconstructs the Victoria’s Secrets Fashion Show and the appeal that it has for some.

A few of the other songs that will surely make you smile are “Remembering My Passwords,” which hilariously traces the evolution of password theory from the dawn of the Internet age late last century to the present; “A Million Little Pictures,” an amusing treatise on the art of exaggeration; “Ha Ha Ha Ha Tsk Tsk Shhhhhh,” in which she recounts her adventure seeing the movie Sex & the City in New York on opening day; and the title track, “If You’re Drunk You Cannot Buy a Puppy,” a list of things people should not do when they've had too much to drink that was inspired by a sign she saw at a pet shop in Greenwich Village.

One of the live tracks is “Tony DeSare, Bucky Pizzarelli, Edith & Ervin Drake at the Algonquin Hotel,” a very funny spoken-word reading from Christine’s book, Cold Pizza for Breakfast: A Mem-wha??

Among Christine’s serious songs are “Cary Grant, Esther Williams, Angelina Jolie & the Romance of the Gun,” which examines the role of pop culture in influencing American gun culture; “They Are Not Done They Are Not Done,” which captures a family’s conflict as it deals with end-of-life issues; and “Song of Lucy Gayheart,” inspired by Willa Cather’s 1935 novel Lucy Gayheart and the love that Joanne Woodward had for the book.

These are songs that will make you smile, occasionally laugh, and occasionally bring a tear to your eye. Like many of Christine’s earlier albums, this is an album to revisit from time to time to smile, laugh and shed that tear again.

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--Mike Regenstreif

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