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Condor Moments » Stranded in Stereo

Condor Moments

We’re Not Happy ‘Til You’re Not Happy

Stranded in Stereo

January 19th, 2008 by RichyMidnight

By Annie Lynn White


This one plays like a perverse Jesus Christ Superstar except instead of clownish hippies moralizing on Christian values, some drug addicts want to save the porno. Yeah, take that, Stephen Sondheim. Many topics crop up that probably wouldn’t make the cut into a traditional rock opera. Think of it as a production company breaking out into random song, conveniently knowing all the lyrics, and those lyrics happen to be about porn, executing babies, Frankenstein and Lord knows what the fuck else.

What’s refreshing is that the personality in And Though We’re Told We’ve Got It All… doesn’t qualify as a gimmick—these aren’t untalented musicians looking for a weird crutch so that someone, anyone, will listen to them. This is what other experimental music should strive to be. While noisy at times, this isn’t forty minutes of noise, or “music” as the more avant-garde might assert. The album boasts gratuitous layers of singing, choruses, harmonizing, humming, moaning and vocal effects in conjunction with about a dozen instruments. Here are eight people all trying to outdo one another, all the while refusing to succeed at the expense of the music as a whole.

In many ways, this is an album about excess. — excess done right. And in a satisfyingly eccentric way. It’s a decadent Ween that scrapped the pop song format in favor of the Broadway musical (and left out tracks that amount to Dean and Gene screaming through a voice modulator). What’s that like, exactly? It’s like carnival music. Burt Baccarat. Waltzes interspersed with annoying noises like rubbing a nail on the guitar string for way too long and voiceovers with allusions to subplots that, if this were actually a musical, live largely outside the libretto. The Price is Right theme. Dramatic minor key melodies whistled over—what is that, a guy throwing up? A dude babbling like a hyperactive two-year-old over a chorus of kazoos and later, accordions. And uh . . . huh. This lyric: “Thank her for the fuck.” I guess it even has a song that may even meet the criteria for a love song.

The Age of Aquarius dawned during some kind of bender and Though We’re Told…is what came of it.