New York Dolls, ‘Dancing Backward in High Heels’ (429)
No way the 2006 and 2009 “reunion” albums recorded by the two surviving original Dolls (frontman David Johansen, guitarist Syl Sylvain) could sound, much less feel, like the ramshackle proto-punk quintet that inspired hair metal, the Smiths, and yo’ mama. Featuring Farfisa, sax, strings, anything but loud guitar, Dancing Backwards doesn’t even try, and that’s its virtue. Erstwhile Louis XIV leader Jason Hill (who produced) and ex-Blondie guitarist Frank Infante help craft the impulsive, off-kilter melodies. “I’m so fabulous I don’t wanna look at you,” Johansen sneers, finally matched by equally fabulous music.