Review Summary: “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.” Job 38:11
The term “shovelware” is a computer term used to describe software that is more notable for quantity than quality, which is a sugarcoated way of saying that it really sucks. It is featured extensively in videogame manufacturing, denoting a game that is so maddeningly horrible, one cannot fathom why it was even created to begin with. But why stop at videogames, when artists like the Millionaires are practically begging for the label to be stuck like a sticker next to the Parental Advisory Warning? They have, after all, been around for several years, and a peek through the song titles of their past EPs shows that their musical progression is basically zero. Perfect, one may think. Here is the ideal example of the muck that modern music has become.
But is that too easy? Tear this album apart, and you will certainly draw blood (the alcoholic concentration of which is not to be underestimated). Yet the Millionaires seem to have crafted Tonight
, their debut album, with just enough irony to make one hesitate to write it off as “shovelware” and call it a day. Lyrics like “I'm kinda sweet, and fake like Splenda” would suggest that they’re in on the joke, and I cannot see someone rationally cobbling together an album like this without a single hint of tongue-in-cheek. Ke$ha, of course, has made a living out of this stuff, and the Millionaires seem to be on a similar track.
Irony, however, does not make an album bearable. Tonight
takes a dive into the waters of fraternity-style debauchery and not once does it come up for air. One liners may hold your attention for brief seconds, and Hot Topic-style song titles like “Dat Boi” and “K Thx Bye” may prompt a raised eyebrow. Other than that, this is a sordid experience that demands your attention only because it is so incompetent in every way. All this could have been fixed up, at least a little, with snappy production, yet the Millionaires’ GarageBand leanings are evident from the opening track. This is the dark side of Top 40, where synths and drum builds and autotune bombard and repel at every turn.
Of course, I’m not sure what I was expecting. The Millionaires have been releasing music since 2007, and not one song has deviated from their motifs of partying, sex, drinking, and getting high. Perhaps I was hoping that the beats on Tonight
would at least be polished enough to be enjoyable, or at the very least, memorable. Shame on me. This is an album to be endured once and only once. No amount of irony can fix that.