New York Dolls
’Cause I Sez So (Atco)
With 'Cause I Sez So, the Dolls' second act is well under way, thumbing its nose at F. Scott Fitzgerald with every swaggering guitar riff and witty lyric. These days chief songwriter Johansen leavens his street smarts with allusions to Eastern philosophy. Whether musing on reality television culture in the title cut or the price of fame ("This Is Ridiculous"), the band retains the sense of humor that was a secret weapon from the get-go. "Nobody Got No Bizness" references both Archie Bell & The Drells' sidewalk jive and Sonny Boy Williamson's honking Chicago blues, both of which they covered the first time around. A reggae version of "Trash" (which originally appeared on the band's debut album) offers an example of how a great song can be reinterpreted.