Beggars & Thieves’ – ‘We Are The Brokenhearted’
Louie Merlino – vocals, guitar, and percussion
Ronnie Mancuso – guitars, keyboards, and vocals
Gregg Fox (various artist) – keyboard
Brent Fitz (Union) – drums
Erik Gloege (Sass Jordan) – percussion
Jim Derigo – saxophone
Skip Martin – trumpet
Paul Shortino (solo, Quiet Rot, King Kokra), Jason Anlino, & Keli Oster
1.) “We Come Undone” –The first four measures of this track consisted of a keyboard arrangement. For this keyboard arrangement it sounded as if the first note had an echo attached to it. As the intro progresses a rhythm guitar begins underneath the keyboard. There is a Vibroslap (the sound of a rattlesnake) percussion sound along with snare/tom-tom fill that connects the intro with the musical verse. Though the keyboard arrangement continues, the way Kevin Churko mixed the song made the keyboard arrangement a fill-in instrument. The vocals of the verse have a much laid back sound to them. This allows Louie to intensify his vocal sound of the pre-chorus to give it a little heavier feel. For the musical pre-choruses & choruses the producer, Bernard Mann turned the guitar track up. There is a one measure timing change connecting the choruses with the verses. For the second verse the guys added a second rhythm guitar in between the vocal lines and the main guitar rhythm. This gave the second verse a more full sound. The lead guitar solo connected the second chorus with the third pre-chorus. After the third pre-chorus there was a small breakdown section.
2.) “Oil & Water” – This track opened with the musical verse instead of an actual intro arrangement. The musical verse of this track consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements stacked one atop the other. The two arrangements are an electric guitar arrangement over the top of an acoustic arrangement. There is a vocal echo attached to the end of each lyric line of the verse. There is a small electric lead guitar scale connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. Scattered underneath the vocal lines of the chorus are little acoustic solos. This back and forth between the electric and acoustic guitars is what makes this song. The lead guitar solo connected the second and third chorus. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the fourth and fifth choruses.
3.) “Innocence” – This track opens with a man saying, “It’s 11:26 do I know where my child is?”. The musical intro for this track was fairly basic. There is a vocal accent connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. Instead of changing the musical arrangement for the musical verse Brent just closes his hi-hat. There are two different vocal accents through the verse the first one matches the vocal accent that connected the intro with the musical verse. Brent also opens and closes his hi-hat underneath it. The second vocal accent is in between the third and fourth lyric line. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. Brent also switches the drum line from a standard hi-hat rhythm to a tom-tom pattern. After the third chorus there is a small breakdown section. There was an Over the top of the breakdown section there was a small spoken lyric line. The breakdown section of this song leads into the lead guitar solo. Though the solo was very simple it suited the arrangement perfectly. The next chorus is the first chorus on the CD where there is a backing harmony in between the lead vocal lines. There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the outro. There is a vocal scream over the top of the last few notes of the outro.
4.) “Never Gonna See You Again” – The intro to this track consisted of an acoustic guitar arrangement over the top of a hi-hat pattern. The band used the same arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro. The bass and drum line kick-in after the second lyric line. Louie’s vocal sound for this song Jon Bon Jovi sound too it. The band used the same acoustic guitar arrangement for the musical chorus. Instead of changing the acoustic guitar arrangement the band added a very simple electric guitar rhythm over the top. There is several lead guitar licks underneath the lyric lines of the second verse. There is a small acoustic guitar change leading into the lead guitar solo section. The lead guitar section is basically just several notes.
5.) “Beautiful Loser” – This is a well written track both musically & lyrically.
6.) “Seven Seconds” – This was a very simple well-rounded song.
7.) “Stranded” – This was a very cool track.
8.) “Wash Away” –This is another very cool track.
9.) “Midnight Blue” – This track opens with two special effects. The intro to this track consisted of a lead guitar over the top of a rhythm guitar over the top of Brent playing a tom-tom pattern. There not only is a rhythm guitar change for the musical intro however, Brent also changes the drum line from a tom-tom pattern to a standard ride cymbal pattern. There is a small echo at the end of the lyric lines. The band switches to the intro arrangement for the musical chorus. There is a small musical rest connecting the second chorus with the lead guitar solo. The outro consisted of a piano arrangement.
10.) “We Are The Brokenhearted” – This was another track on the CD that though simple had great songwriting.
It’s been over ten years since Beggers & Theives released a CD. Much like the classic arena rock bands of the seventies Beggers & Theives consists of keyboards. Though I’m not a huge fan of this style of music I must say I was pretty impressed with the guys’ songwriting and arranging skills. This is an amazing melodic hard rock release and well-worth your hard earned money!