WHO IS HE? The longest-serving member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, bassist Garry Tallent — “the latest in a long line of Tallents,” as Bruce has quipped in concert — has been backing up The Boss since 1972. Though over the decades, he’s also played with or produced everyone from Sonny Burgess and Steve Earle to Southside Johnny.
WHAT IS THIS? His second solo album and the follow-up to 2016’s likeminded Break Time.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A really good basement band. Or maybe a sideman having some fun on vacation — and staying in practice until it’s time to go back to work. Tallent keeps things light and loose here, cranking out a batch of ’60s-style power-pop and garage-rock nuggets topped with his gruff rasp and personably personal lyrics.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? My Own Boss.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? On a playlist with recent albums from fellow E Streeters Nils Lofgren and Steve Van Zandt.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Breezy, pleasant, simple, nostalgic, jangly, scrappy, hazy, bluesy, twangy, slack.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The organ-laced frat-rocker If It Ain’t One Thing (It’s Another), the shuffling Too Long, the bluesy Sinful and the surf-twanger Dirty Rotten Shame are the most energetic. But really, it’s a commendably consistent album.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘It’s not nearly as sophisticated as I thought it would be — but it is a lot more fun than I expected.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Now and then. But you will enjoy it every time you do.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A BASS, WHAT KIND OF BASS WOULD IT BE? A sunburst Danelectro Longhorn.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? You could pony up — but taking it out for a spin first seems more like it.