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Generic Hipper-Than-Thou Album Review

November 25, 2008  |  1:00pm

This is from a review that appeared a while back on a music site that shall remain nameless:

Under the up-with-people-and-feelings sermon Tom Greenwood and whoever comprised Jackie-O Motherfucker that week gnash on electric guitars and set Slinkys down staircases. The whole thing feels like that episode from "Funkadelic: The Sitcom" where Eddie Hazel hung out with Swamp Thing against his parents' wishes.

This is an album review. Anybody know what the album sounds like? I surely don't. If I found that in a book, I'd throw it across a room. But it's on my laptop, and laptops cost a lot of money, so I'm not going to throw it.

Today's koan: what is the sound of one Slinky on the stairs? I am also apparently of the generation who missed Eddie Hazel, whoever he or she might be, and it's unclear whether Eddie was part of Funkadelic (a band I do remember) or a television sitcom star. And I definitely missed out on Swamp Thing, who would probably be against my wishes as well.

I get so tired of reading reviews like this, and the whole hipper-than-thou smugness and winking cultural references that nobody understands except the reviewer and four of his/her friends. And so, in the interest of saving everybody time, I've tried to put together an all-purpose hipper-than-thou album review. The fact that it never gets around to discussing the music is irrelevant. In fact, that's the point. But I've tried this out on several musical genres ranging from electronica to bluegrass, and it works. Feel free to fill in the blanks and submit it to your favorite music website. You too can be part of a fun and profitable home business, and receive free CDs in the mail.

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[ArtistName]
[AlbumName]
[LabelName]

[ArtistName], like the towering Romanian Dadaists Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco, [has/have] always created works that are both invitingly open and shrounded in mystery. [AlbumName] is no exception.

[AlbumName], in fact, reminds me of the time - let’s call it The Post-College But Pre-Grad School Years - when I fell in love with M. Of course it didn’t - it couldn’t - last. You can blame it on our socioeconomic differences, our parents’ absolutely rigid and totally indefensible insistence that at least one of us had to earn an income, the silly squabbles over where we would live (New York for me and Papua New Guinea for her; but look, one can study seashell currency just about anywhere). God knows I’ve blamed it on all those things. In any event, it was too much to overcome. But, of course, Tzara had his own woes with Greta Knutson. I’m sure he would understand. And [ArtistName] does as well.

You can tell because [he/she/they] convey an almost telepathic empathy in these songs. I listen to them and think, "You know, [ArtistName] really [get/gets] it. It’s like [he/she/they] have walked a mile in my Kurt Geiger Solea Storm pumps with the stacked conical heels, the ones I just bought two weeks ago, and which are already scuffed." Nothing lasts. You can’t depend on anything or anyone.

[AlbumName] is the kind of album that reminds me of the smell of freshly mown grass on a motherfuckingly bright late spring morning, the kind of day when you’re 12 years old, and the school year is almost over, and you’ve just beaten the shit out of Bobby Morrison because he kept calling your sister a ho, and life is just about perfect except for the blood on your shirt. It’s that good, and that bad. It is beautiful and wondrous, tawdry and tragic, much like my life. I both love and hate my life, and I love and hate [AlbumName] as well. It’s all in the tension.

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