Review Summary: Richard Cheese is the bee's knees...
What are some things that are awesome? Cake is awesome. Chocolate cake you say? Well is it chocolate cake with the vanilla-type cake in the middle? No? Then it's not awesome. It should be; that's very true. In reality, it isn't. Cheese is another awesome thing. Muenster, Mozzarella (I don't know the correct pronunciation), Pepper Jack, Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone and most of all, American. Reviewer William, what else is awesome? I'll tell ya, the boy-wonder. Yes, Robin. He's awesome because he can kick your tuity fruity booty and also wears a fruity tuity outfit. Does this have anything to do with music? Well, Robin's real name is Dick Grayson. Cheese is still awesome. Dick is short for Richard ipsofacto, LA-based Richard Cheese is awesome. Tuxicity
is a masterpiece.
Richard Cheese is an enigma within an enigma. Picture some of your favorite tunes from the 8os, 9os, and today (erm well still kinda yesterday but it's close). Now what's the one thing these all lack, and the one thing you wish was present? Lounge. LOUNGE. Heavy piano-use, some light drumming, bass flair, a horn here or there, and a little comedy only a drunk guy singing while laying on a piano could offer? Yup. It's all here. Along with trusty sidekicks Lounge Against the Machine, Richard covers metal to hip-hop, "Down With the Sickness" to "Baby Got Back," it's here and is more than you'd expect. Some impressive arrangements are to be found and some of the piano-work borders on impressive ("Hot for Teacher"). The big band sound manages to compliment the songs, but the record succeeds due to the King of Cheese himself.
Richard Cheese is exactly what you'd expect of a lounge singer. That indescribable tone that screams big band, tiny kicks and jigs, beat-boppin, and scattin all over the listener. It's his comedic flair that really makes this a memorable release. Calling attention to the over-blown, stupid, and expletive-ridden lyrics of the mainstream, Richard creates gold. See take on "One Step Closer's" ending, "Chop Suey's" entirety, and his input of "Come On Eileen" in "Relax." "Chop Suey" deserves special attention as the highlight here, it's Cheese in all his glory. He also manages to bring real feeling where it shouldn't be. "Buddy Holly" manages to feel a bit heart-broken and grand, while "Insane in the Brain" feels like a life or death tango and is memorable in perhaps his best performance vocally on the album.
Is it gimmicky? Yup. Is it the kind of album that could provide a chuckle and get boring two songs in? Yup. Does its appeal rest solely on your previous knowledge of the songs? Yup. But if you're in need of a break from seriousness, this could be the album for you. At around the half-hour block, it isn't much effort. With most tracks clocking in around two minutes, there's not much time for the jokes to get stale. Instead you're hit over and over with a wonderful vocal performance, sophisticated big band arrangements, and something that'll probably stick with you for a bit. It's Cheese's masterpiece and is something different worth at least giving a shot.