the artful stylings of……Ween?!

WEEN- A BAND THAT FILLS SOME LISTENERS WITH GLEE AND OTHERS WITH A STRONG CASE OF THE FANTODS.  WE UNDERSTAND BOTH POSITIONS.  THE BAND HAS SPENT THE PAST FEW DECADES MAKING GENRE-HOPPING, POLITICALLY INCORRECT MUSIC THAT ISN’T FOR EVERYONE.  WHAT  WE ARE SURPRISED TO FIND IS THAT AMONGST THE WEEN FANS WE KNOW AND HAVE TALKED TO, FEW HAVE MENTIONED THE 2003 ALBUM, QUEBEC, IN THEIR LIST OF WEEN FAVORITES.  WE’RE NOT SURE WE UNDERSTAND WHY.

QUEBEC, LIKE OTHER WEEN ALBUMS, TACKLES A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT MUSICAL STYLES, OFTEN WITH A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK APPROACH THAT KEEPS THE LISTENER UNAWARE IF THEY ARE HONORING THE FORM OR TAKING THE PISS.  BUT WHAT SEPARATES WEEN FROM SAY, WEIRD AL, IS THAT THEY ARE OFTEN GOING BEYOND SIMPLE PARODY AND WORKING VERY VERY WELL AT WRITING GOOD SONGS WITHIN THE STYLE THEY’RE TAKING ON.  THE OPENER ‘IT’S GONNA BE A LONG NIGHT’ IS A FANTASTIC ROCKER THAT IS ALMOST MORE MOTORHEAD THAN THE GREAT LEMMY HIMSELF.  ‘TRANSDERMAL CELEBRATION’ TAKES A DELIBERATELY PLAYFUL STAB AT THE FOO FIGHTERS AND ‘CHOCOLATE TOWN’ LAMPOONS RECOGNIZABLE ELEMENTS OF MODERN ALT-COUNTRY.  BEYOND THE HUMOR THOUGH IS A BAND THAT IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF WRITING VERY CATCHY POP TUNES AND EXECUTING THE PERFORMANCES WELL.  ‘CAPTAIN’ IS STRAIGHT UP SPACE-ROCK, ‘I DON’T WANT IT’ IS A RIDICULOUSLY SAPPY POWER-BALLAD AND ‘THE ARGUS’ TAKES ON THE BLOATED INCONGRUITIES OF THE ‘EPIC’ SONG.

AS WE SAID BEFORE, THIS TYPE OF MUSIC IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.  THOUGH PERHAPS THE MORE IMPORTANT ISSUE IS THE UNSTATED POINT OF A BAND LIKE WEEN; THAT APPROACHING ALL OF THIS WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR IS A HEALTHY POSITION, ALMOST AS IF THE BAND IS FORCING YOU NOT TO TAKE ALL OF THESE ‘DEAR’ FORMS OF POP MUSIC TOO SERIOUSLY.  YOU CAN GENERALLY TELL WHEN WEEN ARE ‘DOING’ THEIR OWN THING AND WHEN THEY’RE PLAYING WITH AN ESTABLISHED BAND/FORM, BUT EITHER WAY WEEN DO IT WELL ON QUEBEC, WHILE REMINDING US OF THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY.

 

 

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