Review Summary: Off the deep end. This isn't rock and roll at all. It's intergalactic cabaret music!
Synths and xylophones and bouncy little pianos that were likely purchased in the bargain bin of Kids ‘R Us create this crazy-ass mood of a big band pop explosion parade. It’s an engrossing experiment, and one that surprisingly wasn’t created by four dashing young Brits named John, Paul, George and Ringo. This isn't a Beatles album, see? It's this band called Smash Mouth who dress in old-timey outfits from a time long ago (known as “the 90s”) and have old-timey baseball player-inspired facial hair and sing happy little tunes like "All Star" and "Radio."
Oops. I forgot about every other song on the record. They all go much much, much
deeper than the concept, to the point where there's really no concept at all, aside from the album cover and three or four of the more space-sodomy inspired numbers (see user snave? I am likely the only user who actually read your work of fictional prose). There's a fu
ck-ton of diversity on this record - I mean, there's almost no conventional rock and roll at all; but there's so much more, including Steve's strangest songs yet, the dreamy psychedelic love sauciness of "I Just Wanna See," and a spooky funhouse carnival dipsydoo called "Stoned" that manages to out-Syd Pink's Barrett, even without any guitar noise (although be careful when listening with headphones, as this number contains the infamous “brown noise” – which instantly causes any listener to defecate themselves about 1:30 into the song).
It takes several listens to make sense, but "Come On Come On" is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Swoon all you want at the "Eastern" influences reflected in the work of Led Zeppelin and Polvo, but this is... crap, man, this is like total Indian music slammed entirely inappropriately into a Western pop song format. Great Oden’s Beard, it rules. I just tap my DogFish-foot and sing along and wonder at the fact that there was once a point in my life when I considered this to be a "puny, imbecilic track listened to by the users of Sputnikmusic.com.." It's honestly probably the greatest song on the record - most creative, inspiring and influential anyway. And any fool would love the mocking crowd laughter at the end.
Greatest song on the record? No. Allow me to re-ponder that notion. "All-Star" is the greatest song on the record and, in the minds of many, the finest moment in the entire 20th, 21st and 22nd centuries – from a musical perspective of course. Steve created a pop masterpiece here; a genuinely beautiful song about close to nothing. Child please, what else to say about Astro Lounge
? Let's try this: All of you negative nellies out there who think it's overrated, give it a break. Think about how this must have sounded in 1999. Think about how it compares to everything that came before it in the popular music world. Think about how dramatically they shifted their look and style between Fush Yu Mang
and this one. The sounds here are hardly conventional, and will likely take generations to reveal their true cultural impact. I'll admit that the "unhindered by guitars" aspect of this record used to really wane on my ears, but I think I've finally matured to the point where I can enjoy a great song no matter what instrument it's being played on. Even if it's a sissy-ass flute like in "Fallen Horses.” There's not a single weak track on here. It's just a different sort of entertainment maybe than what the uninformed listener is used to. Unless you actually listen to *** like this on a day-to-day basis. Which you don’t.
By reading this review, you are likely assuming that this fine piece of audio ass has been bestowed with the vaunted “classic” rating here on Sputnik Music, but you are just making an ass out of “u” and “me” – the world is not ready for such a proclamation, and I don’t wish to be like the user snave anyway. 3/5