1988, Music

Green Thoughts (1988) by The Smithereens

This is one of those records that basically just fails to move me. I understand that it’s all very competent and I do not dislike the aesthetic, really, but something here is missing for me.

The songs are generally fine – they are catchy enough though they aren’t the strongest melodies. The lyrics didn’t make much of an impression on me, but that means I didn’t notice if they’re not the greatest. They seem fine.
The aesthetic is good, for the most part. It’s not as polished as it could be though it’s not quite as frayed as I might like. (A few more rough edges might have made a bigger impression, perhaps.)

But I think my issue is that there’s just not enough here to distinguish this from countless other late ’80s alternative/jangle bands. It’s not that these guys sound all that much like too many other bands, but it’s more that there’s nothing here, to my ears, that elevates them above the pack of bands like this that existed then. When the record stops, I don’t really remember any of the songs and I certainly don’t feel like I was impressed enough about other aspects of the record that I would want to listen to more of their records. I just think “meh.”

That being said, I’d still rather listen to this than much of what was on the radio in 1988.

6/10

All tracks written by Pat DiNizio.

  1. “Only a Memory” 3:42
  2. “House We Used to Live In” 4:00
  3. “Something New” 1:55
  4. “The World We Know” 3:47
  5. “Especially for You” 3:09
  6. “Drown in My Own Tears” 3:09
  7. “Deep Black” 2:55
  8. “Elaine” 2:31
  9. “Spellbound” 4:09
  10. “If the Sun Doesn’t Shine” 3:31
  11. “Green Thoughts” 2:28
  • Jim Babjak – guitar
  • Dennis Diken – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Pat DiNizio – vocals, guitar
  • Mike Mesaros – bass guitar, backing vocals

Jim Babjak – guitar
Dennis Diken – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Pat DiNizio – vocals, guitar
Mike Mesaros – bass guitar, backing vocals

Additional musicians

  • Steve Berlin – saxophone (5)
  • Don Dixon – production, piano, guitar, backing vocals
  • Marti Jones – vocals (3)
  • Kenny Margolis – piano on (2, 5, 9), harpsichord (10), accordion (3)
  • Del Shannon – vocals (4)

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