Never ones to shy away from a gimmick, 2011 expands on the title and packaging of their third classic album. They even got back together with original producer Don Dixon (who could only do so much for them the last time he helped). The songs concern the same old themes: Pat DiNizio is still just a romantic fool, even when he’s lonely.
Maybe it’s their age, but most of the tunes are in the same slow tempo, which can get a little plodding after a while. Thankfully tunes like “Rings On Her Fingers”, “Nobody Lives Forever” (which borrows a hook from “Especially For You”), and “What Went Wrong” inject some adrenaline into the proceedings. Speaking of which, “Viennese Hangover” is the same melody as “Cigarette”, while “Turn It Around” has that same chunky intro as the Who’s “Circles” and plenty of other Smithereens touchstones. “Sorry”, “One Look At You”, and “All The Same” rank up with their best.
The album’s long for them; “Goodnight Goodbye” could probably be jettisoned despite its obvious hooks, and “A World Of Our Own” has a wonderful intro for a song that doesn’t quite deliver. Still, 2011 is possibly the best successor to that first handful of great albums, and that’s especially fitting since it was the last collection of new material Pat DiNizio completed before his death in 2017.
The Smithereens 2011 (2011)—3