The Crickets - The "Chirping" Crickets (1957), 5/10

Buddy Holly’s talent is quickly apparent and easily felt on the opener “Oh Boy”. There are certainly some superbly well written songs and that is clearly where this record shines, but the listening experience as a whole is clearly held back by some of the weaker tracks along with dated arrangements even with some dispassionate performances mixed in. Buddy Holly shines and the band does produce an impressive variety of styles for 1957. Simultaneously deeply in the past yet impressively forward leaning in scattered moments. The big hits along with Buddy Holly’s charisma likely make this a more loved release than it would be otherwise, which seems to be a shared commonality with early rock music. None of these songs are insultingly poor or hard to listen to, but can fade into obscurity and even into each other at times, which frustratingly diminishes the value of the entire experience after a while, especially after repeated listening. The singles “Oh, Boy!”, “Not Fade Away”, “Maybe Baby” and to a much lesser extent “That’ll Be the Day” carry the record in excitement but can't quite justify its consideration amongst the greats of rock & roll. Especially towards the end, the album just dips too low into a pattern of monotony, and an ultimately annoying arrangement of harmonized vocals. I'm sure they could work well for a slow dance but not for a pleasant album experience.