The Loud Family-Interbabe Concern (Alias): Interbabe Concern is another deliciously screwed-up slab of pop genius from America's most consistently underrated singer-songwriter, Scott Miller. Miller has labored in relative obscurity ever since the early '80s, producing album after album of hook-laden and profoundly literate rock-and-roll in his bands, Game Theory, and now, The Loud Family. Although he is a favorite among critics and has a small cadre of obsessive and adoring fans, Miller has consistently doomed himself to demi-stardom by producing songs somewhere just on the other side of what's considered "accessible."
This latest album is no exception. Interbabe Concern has more hooks than a Bassmaster's tackle box. Stripped bare of the coughs and clicks and other eccentricities found herein, many of these songs would be eaten up by "commercial alternative" (how's that for an oxymoron?) radio. But that is not Miller's style. There are at least a dozen great songs on this album, but that's not necessarily apparent at first listen. Most of Interbabe Concern was recorded by Miller at home on ADAT. I can just imagine him waking up in the middle of the night with an idea that came to him in a dream, walking into the living room and putting it on tape. In fact, that's how much of the album comes across. The songs are like visions-some are fully realized, some are just glimpses. And there are occasional moments of revelation. A lyric here ("I didn't know how your kisses felt/Until I saw you kiss someone else" from "The Softest Tip of Her Baby Tongue"), a guitar riff there (the anthemic release of "Asleep and Awake on the Man's Freeway").
Interbabe Concern is not for everyone. Those who like their pop presented in pretty package and those unwilling to work for their rewards need not apply. But for anyone who is willing to endure one man's idiosyncrasies for some gloriously catchy music, this album is pure bliss. -by John