Spin Doctors: Pocket Full of Kryptonite: 20th Anniversary Edition (Legacy/Epic) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Spin Doctors

Pocket Full of Kryptonite: 20th Anniversary Edition


Sep 15, 2011 Spin Doctors Bookmark and Share

I was eight years old when Pocket Full of Kryptonite was released. Apparently 1991 was a big year for music, for example: R.E.M.’s Out of Time; the debut Smashing Pumpkins album, Gish; Seal’s enduring self-titled debut; Metallica’s Black Album; the debut Blur album, Leisure; Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik; Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls; Crowded House’s Woodface; Michael Jackson’s Dangerous; Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock; My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless; U2’s Achtung Baby; Pear Jam’s Ten; and Nirvana’s Nevermind were all released that year. I’m certain there were other important records, too, but that list is just to put things in perspective. Even though Pocket Full of Kryptonite’s enormously popular singles, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes,” wouldn’t chart until 1993, those two singles encapsulate, perhaps above all else, the variety of rock music I was listening to around the time I was turning 10. I owned MJ’s Dangerous and Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls, but those were really in a class of their own. As a pre-adolescent, I was getting my rock music from mainstream radio, and in 1993, Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” was the most-played rock song in the world. Literally. That’s been certified by BMI.

And so here we are, 20 years later, and Spin Doctors are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their charming debut with a reissue, which will no doubt be overshadowed by other reissues from contemporaries who are also commemorating (or at least their record labels are) 20th anniversaries. Epic/Legacy’s two-disc set includes the original album, remastered of course, featuring the album’s five singles, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” “Two Princes,” “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues,” “What Time Is It?,” and “How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me?).” They’ve included “Hard to Exist,” a non-album B-side, several demo recordings (previously only available at early Spin Doctors gigs), and two early live tracks. As a reissue, this set is fairly standard, in fact a little underwhelming compared to most. Then again, for many, Pocket Full of Kryptonite was an underwhelming album by an underwhelming band. But, you know, as the saying goes: They were underwhelming all the way to the bank.

Pocket Full of Kryptonite is dated, sure. Also, the bulk of the album’s material is overpowered by the strength of its two durable singles, which are practically caricatures of early ’90s mainstream American rock. The record as a whole walks a dangerously fine line between well-crafted pop and noodling jam band bullshit, the latter of which became a genre in and of itself and was honed, toured and turned into multi-million dollar enterprises in the form of The Dave Matthews Band and Phish. But gosh, this record sure is fun to listen to and it’s the kind of fun you just can’t have when listening to music of the same era recorded by Spin Doctors’ more serious and wounded rock star counterparts. (www.spindoctors.com)

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Jeff Garvin
October 31st 2011

Nice work shining the spotlight on one of 1991’s less-celebrated albums!