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Warren Zevon - My Ride's Here LP

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Warren Zevon has always been one of the most literate songwriting storytellers. Thus, it makes sense that My Ride's Here (the title refers to the vehicle the Grim Reaper might drive) comes in the form of a cool rock-literary crossover. Zevon once used novelist Thomas McGuane as a collaborator; here, he employs the considerable talents of Hunter S. Thompson, Carl Hiaasen, and sportswriter Mitch Albom (of Tuesdays with Morrie fame) to aid in his satiric little gems, and he's hit a grand slam this time out. "Basket Case," the Hiaasen collaboration, is the ultimate music/book tie-in, sardonically performed in the metallic style of the Slut Puppies, the band in Hiaasen's bestselling mystery novel Basket Case. "You're a Whole Different Person When You're Scared," the Thompson collaboration, is a dark, bluesy, philosophical vamp, but it's Albom's humorous "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)"--featuring guest vocalist David Letterman(!)--that ultimately steals the CD. Not that Zevon banks solely on his book-writing buddies. "Sacrificial Lambs," a cynical (but sadly true) look at modern celebrity; "MacGillycuddy's Reeks," an authentic-sounding Irish folk parody; and the Dylanesque hallucinations of the title track all prove the once excitable boy is still in fine shape. --Bill Holdship