Rolling Stone - 8/17/00, p.1103 stars out of 5
- "...Setzer's energetic fare works...Cramps-like swamp stomps, mythical film-noir tracks and dance-y good-times wallpaper about hot rods and cool women..."
Entertainment Weekly - 8/11/00, p.82
"[He's] up to his old tricks, stirring up over-caffeinated neo-jump and neo-swing, sprinkled with hip-hop and psychobilly....shiny big band arrangements, wily guitar riffs and a winking swagger..." - Rating: B-
Brian Setzer Orchestra: Brian Setzer (vocals, guitar); Ray Herrmann, Tim Misica, Don Roberts, Jim Youngstrom, Matt Zebley (saxophone); Will Murillo, Kevin Norton, Kye Palmer, Kevin Richardson (trumpet); Robbie Hioki, George McMullen, Scot Ray (trombone); Tony Garnier (bass); Bernie Dresel (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Ernie Perez (vocals); Eric Morones (saxophone); Maxi Anderson, Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Siedah Garrett, Mike Himmelstein, Dave Bassett, Carmen Twillie, Bobbi Page, Andrea Robinson (background vocals).
Producers: Peter Collins, David Darling, Glen Ballard.
Recorded at Conway Studios, Hollywood, California and Village West Recorder, West Los Angeles, California.
"Caravan" won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Personnel: Brian Setzer (vocals, guitar); Ray Hermann, Tim Misica (saxophone); Kevin Norton (trumpet); George McMullen, Robbie Hioki (trombone); Bernie Dresel (drums, percussion); Mike Himelstein (background vocals).
Although the swing movement had cooled down considerably by the time VAVOOM! was released, Brian Setzer and his merry band of swingin' sidemen were still committed to this irresistible and infectious style of music. Admirably, the former Stray Cat avoided creating a straight-up sequel to the group's prior release--the Grammy-winning, fabulously successful THE DIRTY BOOGIE.
For their fourth album, Brian Setzer and his Orchestra add modern nuances to their sound and along the way give Glenn Miller a big band makeover. Female back-up singers, hip-hop beats and loops are used to good effect on "Pennsylvania 6-5000" while lyrics and a new title ("Getting' in the Mood") are added to one of Miller's most famous instrumental classics ("In the Mood"). Otherwise, it's business as usual for this rad hep cat as he mixes original jump blues on "Jukebox," surf in "Drive Like Lightning (Crash Like Thunder)," and rockabilly on "49 Mercury Blues," with some more straightforward covers. Tribute is inescapable as Setzer plays it close to the vest with interpretations of Bobby Darin ("Mack the Knife"), Duke Ellington ("Caravan"), and the Cadillacs ("Gloria").