The Californian

Being Sandra Bullock’s onetime boy toy as well as the leader of a scatological frat band known as the Scabs is not the résumé from which instant respectability springs. He’s no critic’s darling, yet Austin rocker BOB SCHNEIDER seems utterly unconcerned with such things (he once had the cheek to name one of his albums I’m Good Now ). It’s precisely this nonchalance that has led to his success and longevity. Schneider has not only survived an indirect hit from Hollywood but also the fickle clutches of a major label, and he seems to have emerged pretty much the same guy: He hasn’t shaken his potty mouth, and he hasn’t been spending a lot of time with Kierkegaard either. But for those (admittedly male) listeners who’ve sat perplexed through Schneider’s more sensitive leanings, THE CALIFORNIAN (Shockorama) shoots off the starting line and never slows down. Sure, there’s some faux-U2 anthemic drivel, as well as a drunken sing-along that’s probably really funny to his friends, but there’s also a handful of propulsive pop rockers. And the album sounds great, even if, or maybe because, it never aspires to anything more than a good time.

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