Peter Case, 'Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John' (Yep Roc)

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Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John
Critical Mass
Label: Yep Roc

by Shannon Zimmerman

When he was power-popping the Valley Girl soundtrack to infinity and beyond with the Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away," Peter Case showed no signs of becoming a folkie with a Beat poet's flair. But the singer/songwriter now effortlessly laces soulfully picked guitar with wiseguy one-liners. "I thought I was smart," he cracks on the boozy hootenanny "Every 24 Hours," "but that was last night." And on "Ain't Gonna Worry No More," when Case asks for "a pack of Camels and a bottle of schnapps" over ethereal chord changes, feel free to front him the money: He's Charles Bukowski with a new-wave past.

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