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Released: April 30, 2002

Rating: 3.700 (average of 7 ratings)

Genre: adult alternative rock

Quotable: “The band never…abandons the clean, sweet, melodic spirit that informs all their work.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Just Before You Leave
  2. Cash and Prizes
  3. Drunk in a Band
  4. One More Last Hurrah
  5. Buttons on My Clothes
  6. Baby, It’s Me
  7. Wash Her Away
  8. Last Cheap Shot at the Dream
  9. Out Falls the Past
  10. She’s Passing This Way
  11. Jesus Saves
  12. Just Getting By
  13. The Septic Jubilee *
* This is an unlisted track tacked on to the end of “Just Getting By.”

Total Running Time: 49:42

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 30

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Just Before You Leave (4/9/02) #37 UK

Can You Do Me Good?
Del Amitri
It had “been a while since these Scottish purveyors of fine guitar pop released an album,” NM “with five years having elapsed since the lo-fi Some Other Sucker’s Parade (1997).” WK “Often denigraded as sub-Crowded House/Roachford, the band, fronted by Justin Currie (bass/vocals/guitar) and Iain Harvie (guitars) have a list of excellent hits to their credit that ably challenge that erroneous view.” NM

“The album showcased a radically different sound from that to which Del Amitri fans had become used.” WK “There’s plenty of electric and acoustic guitar here,” NM the songs “retained their usual melodic characteristics,” WK “and, as ever, Currie’s astute and wordly lyrics pervade the album.” NM “Currie might give you the impression he just bashes out his songs, but this is plainly rubbish – the lyrics are far too clever for that.” AS

However, “different producers have brought new beats and sounds to some of his songs,” NM meaning “Can You Do Me Good? featured a new approach: drum loops, samples and synthesisers were the band’s new tools.” WK Consequently, “there’s a new edge here which some will love and others not.” NM

“There is a subtle smooth soul vibe here, taken partially from Al Green and Marvin Gaye. This doesn’t mean that this is a soul record, but that spirit certainly informs much of this record, even though the band never really abandons the clean, sweet, melodic spirit that informs all their work.” STE

Del Amtri “rock a little harder…on Wash Her Away, but not so much to change the spirit or attitude of the album, which remains very similar to all Del Amitri records – apart from that sultry soul feeling that seeps through on enough of the tracks to give it a distinctive character.” STE

The part that is the same is “Currie’s genius at delving into love’s poignant hidden depths and there are a few soulful gems of heartbreak here that never sounded so achingly beautiful…If there is anyone better at this art than Currie it might be Bob Dylan whose Blood on the Tracks is always seen as the paradigm break up album…Even when he seems to be throwing himself at love all positive in Baby It’s Me there is a sense that it is in vain and without hope.” SS

Currie considers Just Before You Leave, which is the first single, and Cash & Prizes to be “a bit loopy and groovy.” AS “The latter seems to borrow from Joe Walsh’s ‘Life’s Been Good’ in its litany of material excess. Or perhaps the line, ‘I’ve got a hundred houses, some that I’ve never seen’, is just Currie…in wishfulfilment mode.” AS The song “suggests like many before them that fame or wealth is neither who we are or makes any sense of why we here.” SS

Then comes Drunk in a Band, a song whose “characters sound like real people,” AS a point acknowledged by Currie. “‘They are. They’re characters I knew when I was living in a rented flat in Partick. Great days.’” AS

Out Falls the Past is about a man who ‘changes women like traffic switches lanes,’” AS but, as Currie says, “‘I’m a serial monogamist. But it becomes harder and harder for the opposite sex to trust you if they know your romantic history.’” AS

“Nihilism heads towards apocalypse in their Last Cheap Shot at a Dream. There seems to be a past to forget about and not much chance of change in the future but the resignation that the future is where we’re headed anyway.” SS

“The final track, Just Getting By is an older ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ seeing no point or meaning or sense in the existence of man. Where some of us who grope towards a transcendent hope would say that without a vision the people perish Del Amitri don’t even believe that there can be a vision and luck is the only hope for a better day.” SS

Jesus Saves gives much reason for optimism and it is optimism from a very orthodox Christian perspective: ‘Jesus saves the homeless on the streets/ Jesus saves the afflicted, saves the meek/ Jesus saves the hungry, saves the weak.’” SS “But then there is a caustic and cynical twist to the tale. Each verse ends with an anti-christian backlash: ‘Jesus saves, saves the pure and leaves the rest/ Well he can’t save you unless your one of us/ The damned, the blind, the deaf, the never walk again.’” SS

Can You Do Me Good?, is considered “to be Del Amitri’s last chance.” WK Guitarist Iain Harvie confirmed that, saying “‘It’s a pretty straightforward equation. If we don’t sell 300,000 copies of the new album, we’re out. It's that simple.’” WK

“With this in mind, many of the album’s lyrics seem to convey a tone of finality; the feeling that this is a band’s last stand. Song titles like One More Last Hurrah and ‘Last Cheap Shot at the Dream’ contribute to this, and ‘Just Getting By’ seems almost to lament a career spent as rock’s nearly-men.” WK If it is, in fact, the Dels last hurrah, it is a sad day, but at least the world got six studio albums from them first. Too bad for the large chunk of the population that never even knew they came and went.

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

previous album: Some Other Sucker’s Parade (1997) Del Amitri’s DMDB page next album: Justin Currie as a member of The Uncle Devil Show on ‘A Terrible Beauty’ (2004)

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Last updated May 4, 2010.