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The Complaints Talk To Me Album Review

The Complaints

Talk To Me

Album Review

By Nina McCarthy



Wood burning in your fireplace, a glass of wine in hand, and Talk To Me is the perfect assortment for a cold, damp, night.  Forming in 1997, Rhode Island’s modern rock trio,The Complaints, have released their fourth full length album Talk To Me.  This one is for those who enjoy their rock a little softer, more to the likes of Tom Petty, Radiohead, and Matchbox 20.


I met The Complaints, consisting of Dean Petrella (lead vocals/guitar/keyboards), Anthony Marotti (drums/percussion), and Chris Cruz (bass), not too long after their initial forming back in the late 90’s and have followed them ever since.  Being very familiar with their albums and live shows, I was looking forward to taking a listen to what Talk To Me had in store.  Reuniting with Phil Greene [Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Steve Earle, Mick Jagger], who engineered and mixed their award winning debut album Fear in 1999, The Complaints put out a spectacular 9 song LP and did not let me down.  After slipping it into my CD player as I took a drive, the initial booming of the drums by Marotti at the beginning of “The View” grasped my attention, which continued into a poppy, pleasant opener.  There are two versions of this song on the album, the first being more upbeat and final track being a darker, haunting version, perfect to listen to during a thunderstorm.  Magical!  Compared to previous albums, this one is more subdued, as each release seemed to progress towards, but not in any way taking away from its beauty.


All lyrics on the album were written by Petrella, himself, except for “Mountains,” which was written and performed by the band along with guest guitarist Adam Go.  The lyrics on the entire album are straightforward, memorable, and yet very powerful and thought provoking.  I often find myself getting goosebumps when I let myself become fully immersed in the meaning.  Lyrics from the title song,and probably one of my favorite tracks, “Talk to Me,” include “I’m haunted by the words I never said, thoughts of losing you burn in my head. It’s like the dream, where you don’t have a voice to scream. I can’t believe you won’t even talk to me.”  We’ve all felt those emotions.  “Home” is a smooth piano ballad and once again tears at the heartstrings and allows.  Keep sipping that wine by the fire, relax, and take listen for yourself.  


The band is currently also writing material for various soundtracks and continue to perform over 200 shows a year at venues large and small along the East Coast.  This album shows their softer side, but a live show is full of energy complete with covers to get everyone up on the dancefloor.  The Complaints continue to be one of the most successful independent artists on the national scene.  Congratulations to them on “Talk To Me.”




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