Somewhere between the orgasm sounds, smutty lyrics, and sweeping orchestral symphonies, you realize that this fresh punk trio out of San Diego has created something purely genius. Listening to this collection of raw rock 'n' roll tunes conjures up memories of T. Rex, The Rolling Stones, and AC/DC. Even the lyrics, "Bang a gong, let's get it on" (Paper Doll) and "Suicide right on the stage" (Hey Teacher), do much more than just pay tribute to the original punks of rock 'n' roll.
But don't be fooled by the classic rock sound, this is not something you want to play for your parents. If the naked woman on the cover wasn't a tip-off that Louis XIV never once thinks about the progress of women's rights, the first single off this album is a big enough clue. With misogynistic lyrics like "It's the girl in the front with the tight pants that I really wanna shake up" and "Wind you up and make you crawl to me, tie you up until you call to me," it's a suprise this song made it onto the radio, let alone an album completely free of parental advisory labeling (there IS a copy of this CD with a parental advisory label on the front, but this is only due to dirtier album artwork).
Louis XIV - 5/5
For a suprising intro to a punk album, Louis XIV starts out with a string arrangment before blasting into pure, raw punk rock 'n' roll. Using witty references to political and popular culture ("I might swipe your identity" and "I'm a weapon of mass destruction") as clever metaphors and disses, this song shows right away that these guys aren't concerned about appeal. The raw instrumentation and vocals obviously have had little or no studio editing, and the rest of the album only gets more raw.
Finding Out True Love is Blind - 3.5/5
This song is the one weak point on the album. It's an unsure blend of radio friendly female pop vocals and crude slurs ("Chocolate girl, you're lookin like somethin I want", "Carrot juice, I wanna squeeze you all the way until you bleed"). It's evident that if there was ever a song on the album where things were cleaned up to sound more pop-friendly, this would be it. I just have no clue why they chose one of the crudest and most offensive songs to clean up.
Paper Doll - 5/5
And the hand claps are introduced. If there's one thing the guys in Louis XIV love more than sex, it's hand claps. With a nice uplifting riff reminescant of 60s Brit Rock in the background, there's a good 3 1/2 minutes to focus on the clever lyrics about kinky sex.
God Killed the Queen - 4.5/5
This wouldn't be a tip of the hat to The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen", would it? They manage to resurect Nevermind the Bullocks in their ability to create a lot with little, musically speaking. Where they fail is in the lyrics. It's never really clear whether this song is trying to be a political statement, pure nonsense, or 3 minutes of sex like just about every other Louis XIV song.
A Letter to Dominique - 5/5
Marc Bolan would be proud. The falsetto buildups and string arrangments perfectly match classics like "Dandy in the Underworld" without completely ripping off T. Rex. The lyrics get fairly depressing if you open up your ears to them. If they're not writing songs about sex, they're writing songs about murder. Remind me again why there was no parental advisory label...
Illegal Tender - 5/5
One of the best songs on the album. The song opens to an intricate hand clap, almost like something two 3rd grade girls might think up. That elementary school approach is soon left behind in the dust as soon as a bass riff mimicking AC/DC's "Big Balls" comes in. The lyrics are on the same level as "Big Balls", only a little less humerous. The campy spirit is still there, however, and makes this song shine.
Pledge of Allegiance - 5/5
"Can you keep a secret? Cuz the best little secrets are kept. And you're my best little secret yet." This song needs only one word to describe it. Dirty. Sure that word describes the rest of this album, but this song is the dirtiest of the dirty. Musically, like every other song, it's great! Lyrically, it's great! That is if adultery's a good subject in your mind.
Hey Teacher - 4/5
The intro's great! Very "Tenement Lady"esque. The rest of the song can get kind of old, but it's still a great song. Among the rest of the classics on The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, Hey Teacher doesn't stand out as much, but it's still good.
All the Little Pieces - 5/5
Finally Louis XIV mellow out a bit, slow down, and take the smut out of their lyrics. This is a very nice ballad, starting out with a nice piano intro and building up into a great song to play for the parents (finally!)
Ball of Twine - 5/5
A perfect conclusion to a perfect album. They take the same mellow spirit of All the Little Pieces and bring it together with their classic sound into a nice guitar ballad. The song then turns into a mellower version of everything heard before. Again, a safe song to play around parents, teachers, little kids, whatever.