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Album of Le Nouveau Millennium | Jean Paul Bavard | humor | column | Lollipop

The Album of Le Nouveau Millennium

Written by Jean-Paul Bavard, music, film, theater, and fashion critic
Translated from the French by Daniel Davis

illustration by Ans

It is now the New Millennium, and everything has changed forever. It is now le future, and the future is now. For I have seen the future of music, and it is exemplified by one album, an album of such greatness and utter transcendence that it encompasses all of our feelings, hopes, dreams and darkest fears, and it has a good beat, and you can dance to it.

It is not at all premature to declare here and now that no other album of this decade, this century, or even this dawning new Millennium shall ever equal its importance, artistry, beauty or value. Only one short year into the Brave New World of the New Millennium, and already there can be no other choice but to declare this the champion album for the next thousand years.

From The Beatles' The Revolver to The Beached Boys Petting Sounds, from Bob Dillon's Blonde In Blonde to Led Zeppelin 6, from that album from the 1970s with "Brandy You're A Fine Girl" on it, to "The Macarena," literally billions of other albums have worn the mantle of greatness, but as the past has now passed and the future is now the present and will soon be the past (but is not yet), their day is now done.

As I have surely written ten thousand times before, I am not a critic given to hyperbole and exaggeration, but I declare this group to be the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the Universe. I have seen many bands and artists come and go, and then come again, and then break up due to artistic differences, before coming again in a heart-warming comeback reunion, before going away again for good, except for when they come back once more when the bass player mounts an oldies tour with the group's original name but none of the other original players. But I can honestly tell the World that there is no greater band in the history of music, and that this new album is by far the greatest accomplishment of their brief-yet-brilliant career.

Each band member offers an essential contribution to the group's overall sound. Singer/Frontman Chad, Lead Guitarist Vinny, Bassist/Programmer Josh, and Drummer/Percussionist Randy work in unison to fashion a unique musical landscape of incredible variety and quality, unlike any other in rock, techno, pop, rap metal, punk, folk, or country.

Despite the fact that a certain small percentage of their hardcore cult of devoted fans who have followed them since their obscure self-produced debut album now claim that the group have "gone commercial," and that they will never equal the stunning creativity of their first release, the unbiased listener will have to admit that this new recording is undeniably the finest work of art in the history of Western culture.

From the very first crunching, propulsive beats of the opening track, "You Say That You Dumped Me, But Really, I Dumped You," to the final droning fade-out of the elegiac closing number, "Everyone Except Me Sucks and Is Stupid," this album is a work of unmitigated genius, rivaled by nothing else ever created by the hands of mankind.

Every single track on this awesome Album of the Millennium is achingly beautiful, intellectually challenging, and veritably insisting upon your immediate presence upon the dance floor for le shaking of le bootay. There is no filler here; in fact, it is quite safe to say that even the silence between the tracks of this album is far more significant than 99% of the popular music released in the past 100 years.

The eponymous title track is a perfect example of their Genius: Their trademark trance/ambient samples and cascading vocals add a complex originalite that drives them well beyond their unmistakable influences. Early 20th-century Appalachian Country-Blues, Bebop Jazz, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bobby Darin, the Rolling Stones, The Monkees, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols, Old School Hip-Hop, Michael Jackson, REM, Whitney Houston, Nirvana, the Chemical Brothers, Tricky and N'Sync are their obvious musical forebears, yet while they sound like all of these diverse styles and performers rolled into one raucous, intense, shrieking gumbo, they somehow manage the seemingly impossible task of not sounding like any one other act ever.

However, a mere citing of the band's influences cannot possibly capture the incredible originality of this release. If this amazing band must be compared to others, perhaps the best description of their sound would be to imagine that the '70s art-rock heroes Yes were playing ukuleles while operating mainframe computers, and were fronted by Mike Tyson. Or perhaps if The Clash were suffering seizures and attacks of Tourette's Syndrome, while playing Backstreet Boys songs on weird Eastern European folk instruments, while The Human Beat Box of the Fat Boys huffed and puffed into bagpipes. But, of course, these comparisons pale weakly when the actual music is heard. After listening to this album 10 or more times, all other music ever recorded becomes nothing more than an irritating buzzing sound in comparison.

Perhaps the album's key track is the dense, thunderously driving rave-up entitled "Please Stop Bumping Me With Your Bike Courier Bag," a veritable musical technopolis of synthetic chemical pulses and jarring electronic minimalism, all held together and grounded by a mournful looped sample of the chorus to Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves," and a Sousaphone solo of amazing virtuosity. The song's atonal and pulsing melody crescendos over a deep, resonant bass pattern, to keep the palette of sound interesting and exciting. The song's controversial political message is very subtle, and not at all preachy - so rare these days for a protest song advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

But this is not to demean or belittle the other incredible, genius, groundbreaking music on this album. Such other tracks as the Neo-Trancecore ballad "Ow! Ow! Stop It!," the Scandinavian Raga/Folk rave-up "Slamming Martinis," and the Mozart-meets-Syd Barrett-in-a-lounge-in-Nepal "Craig's Playing Spaceman Right Now" are essential listening for any human being who has ever obtained a second of enjoyment from music, or from any other noise or audible sound.

As a World Famous and Vastly Influential Music Critic, it is my duty to inform and educate the public, and I would be seriously remiss in my important duties and responsibilities if I did not beg and implore you all to buy this album - several copies of it, at least. Each one shall change your life forever in many ways. Give yourself a thrill and kiss the future. This is The Album of The Millennium, and for your life to have any further meaning or significance, you must purchase it immediately. Go and do it now, I order you!

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