Monday, July 03, 2006

John Riley and the Housewives Who Love Him (2003) – Baskervilles

(Part Three of the From Matrimony To Alimony trilogy)

In “John Riley and the Housewives Who Love Him,” Baskervilles don their Belle & Sebastian cap, as singer/guitarist Rob Keith pouts sardonically to the strains of haunting chamber pop. Notably, Craig Van Orsdale’s sweetly sibilant hi-hats and richly pinging ride cymbal sparkle in exceptionally recorded brilliance. Anti-climactic one-two jabs of guitar and tom-tom punctuation following the refrain reflect the songs theme of unmet expectations. Keith depicts John Riley as a Hugh Grant-type that women daydream about and men resent, waiting for him to slip up so that the tabloids can humiliate him. Keith reduces Riley’s accomplishments to how many gossip rags he moves at the checkout stand. But, Riley’s true appeal lies in providing a daily diversion for women who live vicariously through his publicized affairs as they sleepwalk through stale marriages. Keyboardist/violinist/vocalist Stephanie Finucane chimes in to explain women’s idolization of John: “Reading about him beats the doldrums that set in / Glad we’re not alone even though romance has gone,” to which Keith retorts sarcastically on behalf of their husbands: “That’s right. I mean, why work hard / when it’s ‘til death do we part? / Our love life can’t compare to John’s.” Although men may teem with cynicism and sarcasm, the irony is that, quite possibly, they covet as much as they contemn.

  • Listen to "John Riley and the Housewives Who Love Him" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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