Reggie And The Full Effect have always taken themselves as both a joke and a very musical band. Their previous attempt, Under The Tray
, proves this, with lots of funny songs and skits. This CD is a lot more serious, as these songs were written about James' ex-wife. "What The Hell Is Contempt?" is a look at their court dates and her sueing him, "Take Me Home, Please" is a tale of her wanting to meet him again, and "Playing Dead" is him finally telling her to fu
ck off and leave him alone.
Overall, this album is great. It begins very heavy and distorted, with songs like "What The Hell Is Contempt", "What The Hell Is A Stipulation?" and "The Trooth" providing hard-hitting shredding riffs, synthy melodies and James' devilish screaming/singing combos. These are the songs which really show his hate for his ex-wife. "What The Hell Is Contempt?" was tenetively titled when his ex-wife sued him for contempt, and he had to ask what it meant.
But this album has a much more meaningful side as well. There are so very poppy tunes on here like "Get Well Soon" and "Please, Take Me Home" which provide some incredibly catchy melodies mixed with sad lyrics, some are very sensetive and show James' post-divorce depression. This side of James really makes you feel sorry for him after the split, but I suppose we are only hearing one side of the story.
The album is made all the better with the appearances famous voices like Hungary Bear, Fluxuation, Common Denominator, and of course Drunk Girl. There are some funny songs on this album which sports it's serious nature. The "trilogy" of dance songs ("Love Reality", "More Dustralian Dance Party" and "Deathnotronic") provide a great break from the very emotional theme of the album. "Deathnotronic" in particular seems like a parody of Rammstein, something I completely love to death (See what I did there?).
The album ends on the last note, "Playing Dead", quite possibly the darkest and most passionate song Reggie have made. Beginning with a simple piano melody with drums backed over it, James' singing expresses a lot of emotion and the lyrics lace together so well.
This latest attempt bu Reggie feels like a bit of a departure. The upbeat sound is replaced by a darker, brooding sort of deal, while keeping a little bit of the humour. He manages to succesfully combine hard-hitting and raw songs, poppy anthems and still bung a few funnier tracks in there as well. By the end of this album, you will feel that little bit sader for James, assuming you manage to pick out the lyrics.