Derek Smalls

Windsor Star - - YOU -

Smalls Change (Med­i­ta­tions Upon Age­ing) BMG

This al­bum an­swers a ques­tion no one was ask­ing: Is Spinal Tap’s Derek Smalls still alive? The Bri­tish bassist (played by co­me­dian Harry Shearer) is at­tempt­ing a come­back with his solo de­but at age 77, and the re­sult is so bad it’s funny. Ac­tu­ally, it’s hi­lar­i­ous. The sludgy ar­range­ments are thick with ev­ery cliché known to metal, from the open­ing flute to a recita­tion and brass fan­fare, fol­lowed by boogie beats, op­er­atic fe­male vo­cals, syrupy strings and hys­ter­i­cal so­los. All that’s miss­ing is an um­laut.

Equally pre­dictable is the sub­ject mat­ter, which ranges from Satan’s hair­line (Hell Toupee) to cell­phones as a pain in the rear (Butt Call, bring­ing the back­side to the fore­front as the Tap’s Big Bot­tom once did).

An im­pres­sive sup­port­ing cast in­cludes Don­ald Fa­gen, David Crosby, Rick Wake­man and Dweezil Zappa.

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