Saturday, November 20, 2004

You've come a long way, baby

Several years ago, KMFDM released their album Adios, and a sticker on the plastic wrapper billed it as "The historic farewell album." Yes, the historic farewell album, which was neither. Not historic since, well, it's just KMFDM. I like 'em and all, but you know, not that important. And of course it wasn't a farewell because shortly thereafter they broke up, reformed, reversed their name, and sucked. The new project, MDFMK, was pretty much the same minus En Esch and Günter Schulz (which I guess is damn near everyone big) and not as good as KMFDM. They had that song "Rabble Rouser" and... That's pretty much it. After that they re-reversed their name back to KMFDM, they got the old band back together, and put out WWIII, to which all I could say was "That's not enough!" Even if it wasn't stellar, I do have to give mad props for any album with a song about George W. Bush that's simply entitled "Moron."

Anyway, I posted a link awhile back about Norman Cook, AKA FatBoy Slim. Thanks to a reminder from ETP, I went out looking for the new album, Palookaville. A sticker on its plastic wrapper billed it as "The triumphant return of FatBoy Slim!" So, was the sticker once again lying, or was there some merit to its claims?

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the album is pretty good. Not quite "triumphant," though. I would consider it a triumph if it surpassed You've Come a Long Way, Baby or Better Living Through Chemistry, which it does not. But it most certainly surpasses Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, which while it had some definitely cool stuff and the cool cover with the sun shining through that guy's crotch, also had a bunch of stuff that was just plain shit, something I'm not used to with Norman.

Most of Palookaville is pretty good, at least as far as my tastes go. I can't stand track eight, which goes to show you that Norman just won't ever be what he once was, but otherwise I really like the album. Tracks 1-7 especially, with everything after eight being decent as well.

The album comes off as being somewhat original and not too horribly derivative. Of course, that's just how it is with techno/electronica/dance (technonicance from here on out to save me from having to type all those slashes and other shit) -- pretty much everything is derivative of prior work. In fact, I'm planning on releasing a techno album some day entitled dy/dx just to show that I know how it works in the world of technonicance. I dunno, I'm not really very savvy when it comes to music, but it at least had a somewhat different feel than the older stuff while not straying too far from roots. I could be wrong, but it was definitely less derivative than, say, Moby's 18, which could have been entitled Play 2: Not as Good.

There is plenty of the old technonicance standby of having a bunch of annoyingly repetitive shit that is somehow still very catchy and, as a result, not that annoying. Kinda like reggae, only good.

I like tracks six and seven the best on Palookaville. I'm guessing with my limited lyrical insight that those are the tracks that stemmed from FatBoy's marital troubles. Nothing personal against FatBoy, but if your marriage going into the shitter and then being resurrected brings about stuff like those two tracks, then you and your wife need to have a lot more strife between the two of you.

So yeah, I've gotta say that I feel good about FatBoy once again. Granted, it's never going to be good again, but that's to be expected. I don't think any artist can stay at their peak for all that long, with the exception of Fluke who lives on peak (probably aided by the fact that so many of the sounds in new stuff are straight out of the old stuff, and it somehow stays fresh). But that's okay, because at least I have some new technonicance to wear out before I inevitably go back to playing Fluke non-stop.

Also, this post marks the first time in I don't know how fucking long where I've hit double digits in my post count for the day. Not like that means anything, but I know that I too am well past my prime already, and it's nice to re-visit the good ol' days of quantity over quality. As opposed to modern times, where you get neither quality nor quantity.

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