released July 20th, 2010

from the album - Beautiful

from all music

During the late '80s and early '90s, Big Head Todd & the Monsters
(the Colorado-based trio of guitarist/keyboard player Todd Park
Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, and drummer Brian Nevin) built their
audience through constant touring, playing college towns across the
country. With these tours, they built a solid fan base before they
had even signed to a major label. Although they have released
several records, they haven't been able to completely transfer the
live appeal of their laid-back, slightly jazzy, blues-based pop to
tape. Nevertheless, each of their records contains many fine
moments, and 1993's Sister Sweetly, which went gold and stayed in
the charts over a year, showed that they were continuing to improve
their songwriting as well as their playing. It was followed by their
second major-label album, Strategem, in 1994; Beautiful World
appeared in 1997, followed a year later by Live Monsters. Big Head
Todd & the Monsters were dropped from Warner after Live Monsters and
the band took four years to regroup and release Rivera in 2002.
Crimes of Passion followed in 2004 on the Sanctuary label.

album review

Don’t be threatened by the cover of Howlin’ Wolf's “Smokestack
Lightning” on Rocksteady: Big Head Todd & the Monsters have not
abandoned their laid-back roots rock and gone all dirty blues,
they’re continuing to take things nice and easy. To put too fine a
point on it, their rock remains steady, offering few surprises, but
their light touch is often ingratiating. Sure, when they stretch
they can stumble slightly — it’s unclear what the intent of
“Muhammad Ali” is, the reggae-influenced numbers smack too much of a
dorm room singalong, and every once and a while a ballad drags — but
they have a way with rootsy midtempo pop, like the sweet
“Beautiful,” they’re served well by the soulful horn of “I Hate It
When You’re Gone,” they do an admirable, pleading version of “Beast
of Burden” and, yes, the dose of heavier blues on “Smokestack
Lightning” serves them well enough to suggest that they should let a
little more grit into their smooth surroundings next time around.

Track Listing

1 Rocksteady Mohr 4:27
2 Beautiful Mohr 3:55
3 Muhammad Ali Russell 3:21
4 After Gold Mohr 4:26
5 Happiness Is... Mohr 4:11
6 Back to the Garden Mohr 4:35
7 Smokestack Lightnin' Burnett 3:44
8 I Hate It When You're Gone Mohr 3:59
9 People Train Mohr 3:27
10 Beast of Burden Jagger, Richards 3:42
11 Fake Diamond Kind Mohr 3:33