Given his place among the power pop elite – owing mainly to
his role in the band 20/20 – Ron Flynt’s decision to namecheck his influences
makes a good deal of sense. Boasting both new recordings and recycled efforts
culled from the various covers compilations he’s contributed to over the years,
12 Strings and Tambourines references
seminal sounds that likely shaped his own MO.
Some of the choices and treatments would be expected – a
Byrdsy take on “Chimes of Freedom,” an amiable revamp of “Hello Mary Lou,” a
brooding “Poor Side of Town,” and a riveting revival of the Animal’s “Sky
Pilot” being the chief among them. Likewise, his decision to revisit the Dave
Clark 5 ballad “Because” and Alex Chilton’s Big Star classic “When My Baby’s
Beside Me” adds extra dimension to what might have otherwise seemed a stagnant
musical brew. Still, the inclusion of the “Our Man Flint” theme – as the first
entry, no less – and a gender bending replay of the Bacharach/David composition
“Message To Martha” otherwise indicate all bets are off, especially for those
looking to affirm that he’s a harbinger of hipness.
Ultimately, the listener is left with the sense that this is
more a stopgap effort for the purpose of consolidating his standing even as he
plots his next move. Call it rock and rote for an interested few.
of Freedom,: “Hello Mary Lou” LEE ZIMMERMAN