- Audio CD (22 October 2007)
- Original Release Date: 20 October 2007
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Chocodog
- ASIN: B000WZACOC
- Customer Reviews: 22 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,620 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Audio CD, Import, 20 October 2007
Vinyl, 1 March 2019
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2007 release from the twisted and talented duo (Gene and Dean Ween), their first full-length studio album in four very long Ween-less years! Ween have been busy during their time off, as La Cucaracha proves. The album features a set of new cuts and does NOT include any tracks from the Friends EP released a few months prior to this album. Yes, La Cucaracha does contain a song called 'Friends' but it's not the same 'Friends' that can be found on the Friends EP. Got that, friends? It seems like such a long time since the Weeners released Quebec in 2003 but the silence has been broken and we are all so much better people because of it. Rounder.
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Und das Irritierendste: alles ist wunderbar unterhaltsam, sehr witzig zum Teil. Das Album ist (Pop-)musikalisch auf höchstem Niveau gespielt und mit Feinsinn produziert. Erst beim genauen Zuhören nimmt man unter der Süße den Ween-typischen Modergeruch wahr.
Okay so I didn't like this album at first with an exception of a couple tracks, but it's growing on me slowly. I'll go song by song in this review.
1. FIESTA: I love this instrumental with a very insane trumphet and a kick-butt tempo. Ween will often use their first track to, as me and my friend used to say, "Punish their fans", that is, totally surprise them with something they didn't expect. FIESTA makes you feel like you're in Mexico, sleeping in an upstairs motel, hearing music from downstairs in the cantina and realizing that you will have to join the party soon enough.
2. BLUE BALLOON: This is my favorite song on the album. It's got a nice groove that isn't slow and isn't fast: a perfect pace and a perfect song. The lyrics and guitars, and especially the bass line, bounces along just like the balloon in the title. It's downright incredible, utilizing both Gene and Dean equally.
3. FRIENDS: This is second version of the same song that's on the FRIENDS EP. Perhaps they should have left this one off (but I do like it okay). Or else, they should have waited and put the songs from the FRIENDS EP on this album, which would make it a 17 song venture but that would be okay, other bands have done it.
4. OBJECT: This is growing on me a bit, but it's kind of mediocre - although it seems like it's purposely made to be robotic and dull, liken to a killer on prozac. This is the worst, and most lacklucster tune on the album, in my opinion. The guitar solo is okay, but even Dean seems to be going through the motions. My biggest quip about this tune is that it fills the important "cleanup" spot, number four, which should be a song that packs a wallop, or that at least gets you moving (to hit the needed home run). But OBJECT kind of sits there. I think that "Light Me Up" from the FRIENDS EP should be here instead. "Light me Up" really defined what this album is, totally personifying the Spanish theme, but alas, they put it on the EP which, in my opinion, they shouldn't have done now that I hear this "real" album. I'll repeat, OBJECT is growing on me like most of the songs which I didn't like much at first. I just don't think it should be number four.
5. LEARNING TO LOVE: Is growing on me too. Seems like a sendup of Tom Petty's solo albums or something, I don't know. The voice-machine that Gene uses kind of annoys me. But the song seems like a hippie satire so in that I think it's kind of funny. It can get very annoying, and the catch isn't very good. That is, it's not bad, but it's just not all that great either.
6. WITH MY OWN BARE HANDS: Ween is like Quentin Tarantino. In each movie he always must have a BIG SHOCK SCENE to remind people what and who they're experiencing: in Ween's case there's always a BIG SHOCK SONG, that is, the most shocking of all the tunes that makes the government warning label on the CD cover have merit. This song too is growing on me, but, like OBJECT and LEARNING TO LOVE, seems as if it were written in five minutes. Kind of a MOISTBOYZ throwaway if you ask me.
7. THE FRUIT MAN: This tune at first didn't do much for me; I much preferred the similar sounding KING BILLY from the FRIENDS EP, but since it has grown and grown and is one of my favorites. Very dark and moody regae peice (sorry I can't spell). Great bass line too.
8. SPIRIT WALKER: This too seems like a parody, goofing on tunes like "Dream Weaver". Has that hippie-dippy quality and it has grown on me and I quite enjoy it. At first it annoyed me, but it was the fact that there were too many slow songs too close together. This is one of those albums that starts out fast and then slows, and slows, and then speeds up at the very end, like a Roger Corman film.
9. SHAMEMAKER: Yet another of what seems to me a satire, this one of the EMO culture. Gene seems to be parodying R.E.M. too. Bagging on the "feelies" of our society. It has a great drive and is awfully funny too, and the guitar solo is pretty nice.
10. SWEETHEART: I believe this is the second song Dean sings, although sometimes Gene sounds like he's singing low and flat like Dean (does on purpose), so I could be wrong. This one is my third favorite on the album. Has a Phil Spector old-school motown vibe. Also, sometimes as I listen, I'm reminded of the song from the Bill Murray movie "Meatballs" that goes: "Are you ready for the summer"; whereas this one is "She's the sweetheart of the summer". But that's just me I'm sure.
11. LULLABY: This track, being so slow, it almost turns to moss, but like the rest of the album, it's grown on me (like moss). It's quite beautiful actually, using Gene's awesome voice without effects.
12. WOMAN AND MAN: My opinion is that this is a satire of "I'm a Man", which was done live by Santana (and many others). The beginning is deliberatly slow and then we get an eight minute conga laden Satanaesque guitar groove much liken to "I'm a Man", and this jam is great because it's really the only track where we get to fully appreciate Dean Ween as a lead guitarist - after all, he is one of the best guitar players around, and this album really doesn't showcase Dean like it should.
13. YOUR PARTY: This song is my second favorite! I love it! Reminds me of Steely Dan meets David Bowie meets... whoever sang that tune "The Year of the Cat". David Sandborne provides some neat sax work and the lyrics are awesome, and the song has a BLUE BALLOON groove that blows me away completely.
So, all in all, this album was a partial let-down at first but is slowly taking shape. I suggest to the other Weenheads who are not too happy with this to keep letting it morph in thy brain. And sure, it's not one of their best, and it does sort of backtrack to their older classics, i.e. it's no QUEBEC or WHITE PEPPER or MOLLOSK, but we all need a vacation once in a while, and this is Ween's vacation album. (I give it three stars simply because I am grading on a curve with their past albums which are fives.)