Review: I’d Rather Eat Nails Than Listen to Glass Houses by Billy Joel

As if Billy Joel needed to prove himself after selling millions of garbage albums. With Glass Houses, Joel set out to prove that a crooning, mediocre songwriter could rock rather than hindering his couch-listening wine drinkers. Glass Houses features louder, not loud guitars, bigger drum mixes, and the same shitty lyrics that pollute the rest of his albums. And the cherry on top of the poop sundae is Joel decided to mix in a saxophone apparently to provide some glue between his predictable hooks.

His “hardest” songs are as hard as an old man’s penis. The album opens with the lackluster rocker “You May Be Right,” saying, “I’m here, I’m near, get used to it.” Joel may be “Right” (tough guy Joel goes for the grammatically incorrect ‘Right’ instead of ‘Correct’ which, as it turns out, could have been more rebellious), but he certainly isn’t crazy as the lyrics continue. “You May Be Right” is a calculated ditty designed to jar the Piano Man’s fans to life. It probably does. Consider every song up to this point from Joel, who knows how to rock the elevator.

“Sometimes Fantasy” and “Close to the Borderline” are more attempts to reveal Joel as an edgy man whom you’d never want your daughter to date. But the fact of the matter is, you actually would want your daughter to date, Mr. Joel. Because underneath his craft rage are more mainstream Joel songs like “Don’t Ask Me Why” and “All for Leyna,” where he does what he does best: mainstream hooky pop things.

Perhaps the best song on this tour ‘de poop is the album’s biggest hit, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” which reveals where Mr. Joel gets his inspiration. And that’s from nostalgia and not hard-hitting, in-the-gutter Rock-n-Roll. So the fruit this album bears is just that: nostalgia and a copycat vibe.

Not worth stealing off the Pirate Bay.

Loretta Splitair
Loretta Splitair
Loretta Splitair is Gish Gallop's Media and Cultural Editor. She has written widely including publications such as Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and the Lady's Home Journal where she hosts a regular column on the ravages of Billy Joel's music entitled, Billy Joel is a Piece of Shit. Loretta is married to her second husband after her first died protesting railway expansion in Kansas. Please do not ask her about it.

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