The New York Dolls are at least as much of an institution as the Rolling Stones, but are actually still able to create an album that hangs with current bands. Listeners will be assured of that the second that “Fool For You Baby” starts. Capturing the same magic that made their early albums so classic, there seems to be an intensity in each of the album’s tracks that showcases a never can die attitude. Where previous NYD albums came with a gritty, sleazy take on seventies rock, “Dancing Backwards” showcases a band that loves the music of the sixties. The album’s title seems to refer to it, while the “high heels” part of the title showcases that are some things that will never change on a New York Dolls album.
The album ends with “End of the Summer”, a track that acts as a fitting cap both for the album as well as for the band’s career, should they choose to go that route. “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman” (previously done up by Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells) is one of the disc’s most bright constellations; with an emotional fury and catchy beat, it will be what listeners continually come back to whenever they stick “Dancing Backward” into their player. “Streetcake” is one of the few efforts on “Dancing Backwards” that seems to logically follow the previous work of the Dolls; it further increases the set of tools that the band can use during the rest of the album. With the 12 cuts that are on “Dancing Backward”, I sincerely hope they stick together.
Top Tracks: I Sold My Heart to the Junkman, Fool For You Baby
New York Dolls – Dancing Backward in High Heels (CD) / 2011 429 Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.nydolls.org / http://www.429records.com