What You See Is What You Get

What You See Is What You Get

by Chumbawamba

CD

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Overview

After years and years of getting knocked down but getting up again, Chumbawamba must have been frightened out of their skulls at the prospect of following up their career-making, bill-paying 1998 hit "Tubthumping." But the anarchistic U.K. ensemble have risen to the occasion. Instead of duplicating their super single's perfect amalgam of disco beats, boozing references, and soccer chants, the songs on WYSIWYG explore the ways in which that pop masterpiece's formula can be twisted, pulled, and turned on its ear. Because the 22 tracks blend so seamlessly into one another -- some, like the faux-lounge "The Health & Happiness Show" and the pop-folk collage "Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Jerry Springer," are barely more than minute-long interludes -- there are times when the album sounds like a subversive disco opera. And a very entertaining subversive disco opera at that. Careful to offset utter weirdness with very pretty melodies courtesy of Alice Nutter's gorgeous voice, Chumbawamba frequently shine. "Shake Baby Shake," for instance, is a Belle and Sebastian-style Mersey beat that rhymes "Lisa Marie" with "Pamela Lee." Lyrically, the album veers between inspired cultural critique and cynical non sequitur. The country-tinged "Celebration, Florida" indicts Disney's Stepford-like model town of the same name with a quietly mocking couplet: "The good folks pull together/It's July Fourth forever." On the cyberworld examination of "Pass It Along" -- which urges listeners to send the track to 20 people "by word of mouse"-- Chumbawamba turn clever sloganeering on its head: "Where do you want to go today?" they ask, echoing Microsoft's big question. The answer? "Somewhere you can never take me." And while that might sound like heavy going, it isn't. Great harmonies and fun hooks make this a record that's great to spin while you're getting ready to go out on a Friday night. It'll send you on your way with mirth and melodies ringing in your head.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/04/2000
Label: Umvd Labels
UPC: 0601215752120
catalogNumber: 157521
Rank: 67865

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