The Replacements

Dead Man's Pop (Sire / Reprise / Rhino)

Books, Box Sets & Reviews

When Don't Tell a Soul arrived in 1989, the Replacements' sixth and penultimate studio LP rated disappointment both critically and commercially. The slick mix by mainstreamer Chris Lord-Alge squashed the Minneapolis punks' controlled chaos into a midrange mush, and both band and producer Matt Wallace repeatedly expressed dismay. This 4-CD/1-LP box set rectifies past mistakes. Featuring a Wallace remix based on tapes of his original work, the album now roars to life. The tweak opens up the arrangements so that acoustic guitars ring crisper, rhythms hit harder, songwriter/bandleader Paul Westerberg's vocals regain their fire, and previously obscured instruments say hello. (There's a banjo in "Talent Show"?) "We'll Inherit the Earth" and "Anywhere's Better Than Here" rage with furious intent, "Darlin' One" displays a groove that reinvents the song, "Back to Back" gains a vitality it previously lacked, and "Achin' to Be" adds muscle to its melancholy need. Dead Man's Pop, the album's original working title, provides one of the few examples where a remix achieves a revelatory experience beyond the bonus demos and outtakes. A legendary liquor-soaked session with Tom Waits, two discs containing a ragged-but-right contemporary concert, and a booklet that takes an in-depth look at the making of DTAS crackle and pop, but in revisiting its creators' original intent, a formerly sneered at LP becomes essential.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Replacements
Phases & Stages
Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements
'Mats 'tude – definitive

Neph Basedow, April 1, 2016

Rock & Roll Books
The Replacements: Waxed Up Hair & Painted Shoes
Picture Book

Michael Bertin, Dec. 6, 2013

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Toland
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Big Bill, CupcakKe, Echo & the Bunnymen, Blxst, Boris, and more live shows to fill your evenings

Aug. 19, 2022

Review: Bob Hoffnar & the Mood Illusion, <i>Things We Wonder: An Interpretation of the Shaggs</i> (Rock Tumbler)
Review: Bob Hoffnar & the Mood Illusion, Things We Wonder: An Interpretation of the Shaggs (Rock Tumbler)
Deft experimental combo reworks Worst Album of All Time contender into avant-garde jazz

Aug. 19, 2022



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle