- Personnel: Warren Zevon (vocals, guitar, piccolo, pennywhistle, keyboards, percussion, Theremin); Jorge Calderon (vocals, bass, percussion); Babi Floyd, Dennis Collins, Curtis King (vocals); Chuck Prophet (guitar); Jimmy Ryan (mandolin); Winston Watson (drums, percussion).
- Recorded at Anatomy Of A Headache, Los Angeles, California; Ft. Apache, Cambridge, Massachusettes; The Magic Shop, New York, New York.
- Personnel: Warren Zevon (vocals, guitar, piccolo, pennywhistle, keyboards, percussion, Theremin); Chuck Prophet (guitar); Jimmy Ryan (mandolin); Jorge Calder¢n (bass guitar, percussion, background vocals); Winston Watson (drums, percussion).
- Though he would eventually succumb to cancer in 2003, on this 2000 release life hadn't killed Warren Zevon just yet, though scrapes with doom inform LIFE'LL KILL YA's sensibility, and Zevon responds with his trademark gallows humor as well as a surprisingly lighter touch. Here, the excitable, piano-pounding artist surrounds himself with acoustic guitars, harmonicas, and pennywhistles; concise simplicity is the order of the day, and this sense of economy allows lines like "I can see me bound and gagged / Dragged behind the clown mobile" some breathing room. The arguable red herring is a bizarrely straight reading of Steve Winwood's mid-'80s hit "Back in the High Life." Ironically, the album's most gripping aspect is its very modesty and lack of clutter. Apparently, when the Reaper is looming nearby, it's best to travel light.
Rolling Stone (2/17/00, p.57) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...morbidly engrossing....[It] seesaws between gallows humor and hopeful yearning, with the balance tilting towards the former..."
Entertainment Weekly (1/28/00, p.106) - "...one of the '70s most gifted musicians has pulled off a CD that resonates with the quizzical poignancy of midlife survival while harking back to his delectably deranged EXCITABLE BOY heyday..." - Rating: A-
Q (2/00, p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...a quality record packed with ironic, sarcastic, nakedly emotional, funny and gut-wrenching songs....business as usual, but, God, he's good at it..."
Uncut (9/03, p.96) - "...The songs are consistently funny, mordant, touching, and wise..."
CMJ (1/24/00, p.29) - "...arguably his best collection of new material since 1978's EXCITABLE BOY....[his] dry, twisted voice is accompanied by rock instrumentation that is appropriately sparse....The poetic irony of songs such as the title track...ring through with well-deserved clarity."
No Depression (3-4/00, pp.110-111) - "...With LIFE'LL KILL YA, Zevon...assemble[s] 12 thoughtful, often caustically funny, always intimately felt songs....[he] varies pitch between rumbling basso and expressively strained falsetto, yet his overall tone remains steady..."
Mojo (Publisher) (2/00, p.90) - "...his wryness and acuity...recall Randy Newman, though with less winsome, more militaristic melodies and a savage, pugilistic vocal..."