Review Summary: Kinda like witnessing a car crash from afar only to find out you're actually the victim.
It may seem like an odd starting point, but I fall squarely into the category of people who utterly DESPISED Lulu
. I can’t pretend to have any unique criticism of the record - indeed on Sputnik many reviewers have written far more succinctly about it than I ever could. Ultimately, my main gripe is that it took genuine work to listen to. To get from beginning to end was an actual ordeal, and each song was far too long to tolerate the repetition of demo-level riffs and shockingly poor vocal execution. It does look like the revulsion towards the record has waned in recent times, and whilst I don’t hold the view myself, there is a genuine case for it being under-appreciated as a performance piece and naturally anyone who approaches it expecting a Metallica record or a Lou Reed record could be holding it to the wrong standard. Hmm, still, yuck.
Angelic 2 The Core
makes an interesting comparison piece. Again, a double album which has been not so much anticipated as cautiously approached – Feldman’s recent appearance on The Today Show has garnered a lot of interest, and yet the most significant praise for it is ‘well at least he’s giving it his all’ (which if you ask me isn’t worth a great deal - people with less status than Feldman can put their heart and soul into writing on the walls of public conveniences with their own *** and no-one would impart the same feedback, but I digress). This ‘110%’ ethic is backed up by the insane Kickstarter and promo websites created for this record – full of breath-taking lashings of praise and delusions of grandeur. His own press release on the Kickstarter looks like if a 5th-grade essay were submitted via a text message.
And again, this is a very, very tough album to stomach, not just for the length of the record outright, but for the absolutely baffling execution of the ideas on show. In Feldman’s own words: ‘I feel it’s a rare album and there is truly something for everyone as the album covers all fields of the music spectrum: part Pop, part Rock, part EDM, part Hip Hop, and all soul’. He does have a point here, it does flit between genres with reckless abandon, but not quite with the finesse he clearly envisages for the project. It is a catastrophic mess. Feldman claims that he has spent the last 10 years writing these songs (so no half-baked last-minute cuts to fall back on as an excuse) and then with the help of his all-star cast (Fred Durst, Snoop Dogg, and his very own Corey’s Angels – more than just backing vocalists, the brand ‘helps beautiful young women realise their dreams’, you understand - among many more), he played all of the instruments at his home studio and self-released the entire project. This in itself is kind of admirable, but he simply does not possess the ability on any composite element to make any of it appealing. The instruments are poorly played, both off-key and out of time, the production is utterly messy, and the vocals…
Feldman’s vocals are a completely tortured blend of attempting to sound demonic, sexy, unhinged and gritty all at the same time – unfortunately at his most aggressive, this sounds like Michael Jackson and Wayne Static competitively coughing up meatballs. Conversely, when he tones it down a bit and reveals his crippling sensitivity, it can only be described as a sound-a-like of a 12-year-old Wes Scantlin auditioning for Pop Idol while choking back recently-deceased-cat tears. Coupled with the fact that he quite simply cannot hold anything resembling a tune, the vocals are impossible to defend. Furthermore, his insistence on putting pathetically-scripted, messily performed skits between nearly every other song makes his presence consistently unpleasant.
There’s an inherent tragedy in Feldman’s blindingly apparent belief in his own ability and performance skills. It isn’t that he’s simply never been told that his work is bad (quoting his priceless press release yet again – ‘I was never told "The music stinks" or "I just don't hear it", as typical turn downs from major labels go. No! Instead I got lots of weird excuses like "The songs are catchy, but do U have 2 sing them"" or "Not bad 4 an actor, but we don't feel U will have the time 2 dedicate 2 a music career" - so there you have it, this magnum opus has never been rejected for the obvious and many flaws, but you can’t like, have two careers, man). These performances sound like 22 joke songs that haven’t bothered to think of a punchline. Unfazed, and clearly not restrained by his guest producers, Feldman has worked tirelessly to release Angelic 2 The Core
off his own back, and one cannot in any way fault him for this. What can be faulted though, is the most inexcusable, poorly-performed, ill-conceived, sloppily-packaged, anti-structured mistake I have ever had the misfortune of listening to.
Ten years in the making. I’m sorry Corey, but you’ve lost your damn mind.
P.S: I have left zero recommendations for similar records as there are no bands that I hate enough to irreversibly tie to this.
P.P.S: A zero score should be available.