ARCD 6531 God Shuffled His Feet
Produced by Jerry Harrison and Crash Test Dummies
Released on October 12, 1993
US CHART POSITION #9 . . . UK CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
ARCD 6531 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he beautiful bullfrog prince of the new age, kissed by the M-m-muses deeply but briefly. I saw the Dummies at Toad’s in New Haven (felicitous amphibious omnibus, these last two reviews) for the supporting tour. Good show, but we got lost on the ride home and ended up in one of the lesser-known Mid Atlantic states in the wee hours of a Wednesday or Friday or something. When the video for “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” hit MmmTV, I was transfixed. What was this wonderful music?, I wondered. It just shimmered, had a stately beauty to it that stood apart from the rest of the pop pabulum being peddled to the tube-glued masses. They had a self-deprecating sense of humor (a national characteristic), a sense of purpose and a sense of style. The style was borrowed in part from the smartalecky set, who had an idol in Talking Heads (enter Jerry Harrison and guest Adrian Belew). But there are folk sensibilities bubbling underneath the polished alternative pop of Crash Test Dummies, an organic vibe that allows the music to breathe like poplin. It was all part of a larger movement, a reaction against the increasingly impersonal sound of alternative rock, against the Anglification of smart pop. Add to the itinerary Indigo Girls and Toad The Wet Sprocket (geez, there it is again) and you had a ‘90s pop-a-go-go scrapbook in the making. Although the album (discus?) starts going in circles midway through (approximately “Here I Stand Before Me”), Crash Test Dummies show some range on the playful “When I Go Out With Artists” and the pretty “Two Knights And Maidens.” Running through it is a river of light reflection on mortality and humanity. It’s not a deep river, which may dismay those who felt sure that “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” was the beginning of a fathomable iceberg, but there’s the consolation of a swift current to consider. If your tastes runs toward XTC, Talking Heads, Toad et al, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

ARCD 6531 lyric gatefold ARCD 6531 back sleeve
ARCD 6531 lyric gatefold ARCD 6531 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. GOD SHUFFLED HIS FEET
  2. AFTERNOONS & COFFEESPOONS
  3. MMM MMM MMM MMM
  4. IN THE DAYS OF THE CAVEMAN
  5. SWIMMING IN YOUR OCEAN
  6. HERE I STAND BEFORE ME
  7. I THINK I'LL DISAPPEAR NOW
  8. HOW DOES A DUCK KNOW?
  9. WHEN I GO OUT WITH ARTISTS
  10. THE PSYCHIC
  11. TWO KNIGHTS AND MAIDENS
  12. UNTITLED

    All songs written by Brad Roberts

CREDITS

BENJAMIN DARVILLE -- mandolin, harmonicas
MICHEL DORGE -- drums, percussion
ELLEN REID -- back-up vocals, piano, keyboards, accordion
BRAD ROBERTS -- lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano
DAN ROBERTS -- bass guitars, synth bass
Larry Beers -- drums
Adrian Belew -- synthesized guitars (1)
Kerry Nation -- back-up vocals (2)
Dan Harjung -- engineer
Dave Vartanian -- engineer
Tommy Lipnick -- overdub engineering
Tom Lord-Alge -- mixing
Kevin Mutch -- design and art direction
Larry Glawson -- photography
Wayne Littlejohn -- band portrait paintings
Chris Chuckry, Digital Chameleon and Image Color -- digital imaging

return to CRASH TEST DUMMIES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 12, 1993 Arista CD/CS ARCD 6531 lyric booklet

 

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