Review of 20th Century Literary Problem by Lori Burton

First off, I'd like to say that this is an alternative album. However, there must be one big distinction! The Mnemonic Devices sounds like an EIGHTIES alternative band to me. So much, in fact, that I sometimes feel the memories so strongly that it gives me chills! I doubt this is the effect they were after, but it's nonetheless very cool.

1. I Used Up All Your Icons. I really like the effect with the vocals. The song is very poetic.

2. I Keep Falling in Love. I feel that the chorus should be longer, more involved, and that the "musical interlude" should have started with a little more action (like the chorus) before it goes into the little keyboard thing. I'm really glad Rusty put his feelings into a song here. It works very, very well.

3. You Need to Awaken. I don't have much to say about this one, except that I like the lyrics a lot. Only thing is, I don't know why! Maybe because they're just so pretty and flowing. It's not that I understand them, though, that's for sure!

4. Swinging London (Never Go Back). This one's awesome! Here you have a cool verse-line and then a big chorus. It all just jams! This is a HIT track! Oh, yeah, and I like the "Rusty laugh" at the end.

5. Is That the Same Moon? I like this one because it's busy and bouncy! I don't find it too sappy, like Rusty says it is. If it were slow and ballade-like, maybe it would sound more so. I don't know. Anyway, this one's good.

6. Please. This IS sad. I feel as though I'm hearing a story which is too painful to hear. The echo effect is really appropriate. Very real, very beautiful.

7. All Alone. The whispering is good. So is the double voicing. I really don't have much to say about this one, do I? Not bad, I just don't have anything to say.

8. I Love My Feet. I like this song. It's kind of charming. I like the sound effects, too!!! The second part is cool--at first I thought it was a new song! Good idea to make it big like that, and then the charming little harpsichord trill comes back to end it!

9. 100KF. Cool. Cool. Cool. Yay for the violin! Backwards reading is surprisingly fitting. One of Rusty's best efforts.

10. Suddenly There is a Tidal Wave. Yep. Wouldn't be a good album without waves!

Favorite tracks: Swinging London (Never Go Back); Is That the Same Moon?; Please; 100KF; Icons

Rusty's best vocals: Swinging London (REALLY good vocals)

The album's terrific. On a scale of 1-4 stars? ***1/2

--Lori Burton
11 Oct 1996

Copyright (c) Oct 1996 by Love and Letters Music