| I don’t know about you, but when I’m depressed, I have better things to do than whine and go on Hot Topic shopping sprees and take mopey Myspace photos. Upon failing a test or having a bloody nose, I know precisely what to do. I’ll lock myself in my room, curl up in a chair with headphones, and blast… lounge music. No, not the sort of lounge your parents/grandparents dance to. Unless they, in fact, dance to a middle-aged guy crooning expletives at the top of his lungs with his band shouting “BIOTCH!” in the background for good measure.
In which case, I concede that you have awesome parents/grandparents.
Richard Cheese and I have a history, of sorts. I don’t remember exactly how or when I started listening to him, but I do remember that when everyone else was surfing all the Top 40 radio stations, looking for “Last Resort” or what have you, I was one of the few, the proud… those who rocked out to Richard Cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I listened to “Last Resort” too—but my version had trombones, piano, and a surprisingly fitting sense of vintage-flavored cheerfulness. Does your musical taste extend to Pink Floyd? Blink-182? Nirvana? Britney Spears? If you answered yes to any of those and you haven’t listened to Richard Cheese yet, you’ve been missing out.
Essentially, every track on The Sunny Side of the Moon is a condensed, loungified version of everyone’s favorite hits. Sure, any lounge band worth its salt can do a cover of “Baby Got Back” (or so we should hope, lest we fear for the future of Earth as we know it), but what Richard brings into the mix is the spicy, spirited lounge lizard character who will randomly throw in racy comments and Han Solo impersonations while singing, say, “Creep,” or “Fell in Love with a Girl.” How awesome is that?
The Sunny Side of the Moon is a great collection for anyone who’s never listened to Richard Cheese and is looking for a way to enjoy Frank Sinatra and Fat Boy Slim simultaneously. My favorites here are “Nookie” (that song—both versions—and I go way back), “Closer” (because hearing Richard singing “I want to f*** you like an animal” to a finger-snappingly upbeat melody is just priceless), and “Gin and Juice” (just listen… you’ll see). Not to mention “Rape Me,” the opening track—it’s a gem. The album is also wonderful for Richard Cheese fans who couldn’t pick between Tuxicity, I’d Like a Virgin, Lounge Against the Machine, and Aperitif for Destruction.
If you’re not sure if Mr. Cheese is the one for you, though, listen to a few tracks before purchasing this one. It takes a certain something to love music of this caliber—sometimes it’s just hearing that one song played a different way. Slayer fans, Dead Kennedys enthusiasts, and even Coldplay aficionados should all rejoice to know that there’s a swanky, snazzy cover of their favorite tracks out there, just waiting to be heard and hopefully adored. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything out there that sounds like this… Richard Cheese is definitely one-of-a-kind. Personally, the only problem I have with this album is that “Chop Suey” and “What’s My Age Again?,” some of my old-time favorites, weren’t included. Some of the tracks have been redone (“Nookie,” most notably), but it’s all for the best. The final product is nothing less than a shrinkwrapped bundle of good, not-so-clean fun. Vegas style.
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| THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE MOON
1) Rape Me (Nirvana)
2) People = Sh** (Slipknot)
3) Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-a-Lot)
4) Girls, Girls, Girls (Motley Crue)
5) Closer (Nine Inch Nails)
6) Bust a Move (Young MC)
7) Down with the Sickness (Disturbed)
8) Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
9) Freak on a Leash (Korn)
10) Nookie (Limp Bizkit)
11) Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 (Pink Floyd)
12) Rock the Casbah (The Clash)
13) Fight For Your Right (Beastie Boys)
14) Hot For Teacher (Van Halen)
15) Gin and Juice (Snoop Dogg)
16) Come Out and Play (The Offspring)
17) Badd (Ying Yang Twins)
18) Creep (Radiohead)