• U.S.

Music: Don’t Worry About Me

1 minute read
Benjamin Nugent

Whatever praise New York City’s Ramones deserved for more or less inventing punk rock, they could never be accused of versatility. The band found its groove–fast, heavy, black-humored three-chord assaults–and luxuriated in it for almost a quarter century. But before his death last year, the singer, Joey, got relatively experimental on his first and last solo album. Relatively is the key word here: he fits five, sometimes six chords into a single song, and (gasp) evinces a heartfelt concern for social issues. But the first track, a cover of What a Wonderful World, makes up for the general dearth of originality by wedding Joey’s affectless vocal style and kick-butt guitar arrangements with Tin Pan Alley poetry and tunefulness. It’s proof his comic instinct and exuberance stuck with him to the end.

–By Benjamin Nugent

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