LISTEN IN: Blink 182 drummer misses the beat with solo shotPublished 5:00pm Saturday, April 2, 2011
What do famous drummers do when they get bored?
Apparently they record an album with their friends.
“Give the Drummer Some”
by Travis Barker 1 of 5
Peel away a few stellar beats and never-ending shout-outs and there’s not much to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker’s debut album “Give the Drummer.”
The idea of a famous drummer successfully crafting his own album isn’t farfetched. Phil Collins proved in the 1970s and ‘80s that drummers are capable of doing more than just keeping the beat. Last year, the trend continued when Radiohead drummer Philip Selway released “Familial.”
Unlike Collins and Selway, Barker doesn’t lend vocals to the album. He sticks to drumming and producing and lets a slew of famous musicians like Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Jon, Pharrell, Lupe Fiasco and Cypress Hill fill the gaps.
Again, guest stars have worked on good albums. The Gorillaz have infused guest appearances into the band’s skilled base. But that’s exactly what Barker’s debut lacks: a backbone.
Beats and drums aren’t enough to weave tracks together. This is a collection of tracks.
Snoop Dogg (a former Gorillaz guest performer) lends his swagger to “Knockin.” Famed guitarists Tom Morello and Slash provide a few impressive riffs. But they’re too brief and scattered to salvage the material into an album.
One of the album’s saving graces is “Saturday Night,” a track that reunites Barker with his old side project the Transplants. But the track owes more of its success to Transplants singer Tim Armstrong’s west coast drawl than it does to Barker.
Overall, Barker fills each track with rhymes, beats and shout outs, but little substance.