Holy Barbarians: Cream

As soon as he started singing I recognized Ian Astbury immediately. It took me about 80 seconds to place the voice as his. And really, this is just The Cult without Billy Duffy. Or at least it’s where I felt The Cult was going on their self-titled release two years prior.

This album isn’t quite as painful as that one. For one, they’re not trying as hard. They’re not any better, it’s just that the band is a little more comfortable with their diminished abilities at this point. They don’t try to do too much, and so don’t fail so often.

I can mostly listen to this album from start to finish without getting too upset. All the songs are accessible, and they’re even kind of differentiated from one another, which is a feat considering that they’re not all that interesting. How do you write ten different uninteresting songs?

But if I listen closely to this album, then I start to get ticked. For one, it’s just harder to listen to a boring song for several minutes if it’s not just in the background. Second, and more prominently, these lyrics are shit. Just plain fucking shit. Check out the notes for “Opium,” “You Are There,” and “Magick Christian” below the jump for more details.

When former rock stars start to suck, it would be nice if we could just put them out to pasture. I mean, there’s no way this record gets made if somebody without a “proven track record” (to borrow from idiot baseball front office people who make the same mistake) wasn’t fronting it. And it’s fine that he wants to make music that’s ranging from mediocre-to-bad…it’s just too bad that we all have to pay attention to it. Listening to this album didn’t make my life any worse, but it’s certainly not any better for the experience.

Rating:
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– “Brother Fights,” “Dolly Bird,” “Blind,” “She,” “Bodhisattva”
– “Cream,” “Opium,” “Space Junkie,” “You Are There,” “Magick Christian”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Brother Fights –
  2. Dolly Bird – Like the keys effects. But maje sux at end.
  3. Cream – Hate.
  4. Blind – I don’t hate this. So there’s that. Yeah, this isn’t bad at all. Considered full even. It’s unabashedly good, just doesn’t grab me very often.
  5. Opium – Spanish guitar Flamenco flavored. Not good. “Well her breasts are appealing/And my horns are appearing.”
  6. Space Junkie – I actually kinda dig the first bit of this. But by the time they get to the pre-chorus then the chorus, it’s awful.
  7. She –
  8. You Are There – “You are there with a Coca-Cola in your hand.” Constantly sounds like he’s going to break into “Edie (Ciao Baby)”. The bridge at 4:00 has a really cool drum part.
  9. Magick Christian – “That’s when the football was football”? Why is this so long?
  10. Bodhisattva – Intro would fit in perfectly on some kind of modern country radio hits thing. “Let’s get naked in the wind.”
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