Cab drivers. Where would city folk be without them? A heaping amount of New Yorkers rely on taxis for transportation, and even the Chicagoan hails a cab from time to time. But what does someone get when they go to Seattle and their Taxi driver is a hippy who goes by the name of Ted Narcotic? You get handed a copy of Because I Like to Do Nice Things for You. No, seriously, that’s what happened to two fellow staff members of the Independent.
This random circumstance makes for an interesting story, but what makes it even better is that Ted Narcotic’s album is an experience within itself. At first listen, his off key sing-talk vocal style is reminiscent of musical figures like Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman. His use of power chords and the audio that sounds like it was recorded in his garage is also what gives the album its nostalgic proto-punk/garage rock sound from the ‘60s. But after fully listening to tracks like Because I Like to Do Nice Things for You, and I Want You Feel You, listeners can experience how Narcotic is not just an imitation of those who came before him. His lyrics are what really set him apart as they lend a sense of humor, but also a fresh take on song writing. In Because I Like to Do Nice Things for You, he expresses his desire to do nice things for someone he cares for. One line in particular goes, “If your car was all dirty and it was covered with bird poop and alcoholic puke, well I’d go ahead and I’d get some soap and some hot water and I’d wash it down/ I’d wash it up and clean it, and I’d do it just for you/ ‘Cause I like to do nice things for you.” At first listen, the phrases of “bird poop” and “alcoholic puke” may bring forth a chuckle and may even make you wonder how sober Ted actually was while writing the song. Sober or not, Narcotic manages to write a new and refreshing type of love song. There are countless love songs that express the same sentiment of how one would go leaps and bounds for their significant other. Yet few songs reach the random yet creative lyrics that Narcotic accomplishes. How many songs out there talk about a guy cleaning up puke and bird poop for a girl simply because he likes doing nice things for her? It’s a fresh take on the expected lyrics one hears in love songs. Anyone who likes to wonder, “How does he come up with this stuff?” when they listen to music, will enjoy Ted Narcotic.
Other than his lyrics, it’s also what Ted Narcotic represents that makes the album. Ted is a man who works hard driving a cab but still pursues his music. He’s among the everyday people who brave it out and try their hardest to achieve a goal despite any risk of failure. Whether or not Ted Narcotic ever achieves any fame is not important; what’s important is that he attempted to. To learn more about Ted and to hear his music, go to www.tednarcotic.com.
Rating : 4 ½ Stars