WEEN | La Cucaracha | Rounder
Thursday, November 8, 2007
While artists like Neil Young and Beck are known for devoting whole albums to exploring a genre, the Pennsylvania-based act Ween go one step further by diving deep into pop music styles in the course of a single tune. Their best releases hang together due to the band’s surprisingly catchy songwriting, deft playing and quirky sense of humor.
Like their 1994 CD Chocolate and Cheese, Ween’s latest album La Cucaracha is all over the place. “Blue Balloon” is spacey rock complete with lyrics about “fairy wings and golden dreams” and a synth that sounds like a deflating balloon. “Friends” is a ridiculously dated sounding song that could have been played at a ‘90s era rave, while “Woman and Man” builds to a Santana-esque guitar and percussion workout.
One conspicuous new genre that Ween add to their arsenal is soft rock on songs like “Sweetheart in the Summer” and “Your Party,” a number with a perfectly placed guest appearance by smooth jazz sax player David Sanborn. When Gene Ween sings lyrics on the latter including “We had the best time at your party/ The wife and I thank you very much,” it’s hard to tell if the band is serious or joking. No matter, the song is so good that it works either way.