Album in Depth Reviewaday Marathon Polka Your Eyes Out: Pump up the Jam The Album by Technotronic

… or maybe…

As you may notice… I’m playing well out of my ball park here, ladies and gentleman. This gem of the nineties is my first album to have two album covers. And to be honest, my copy is the latter, but maybe you know it for the first cover… because… well… this is the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EcjWd-O4jI

And you may be one of the few that are able to recognize the woman singing in this music video as the woman in the first cover album showcased in this review, but… well… she had absolutely nothing to do with this album, unless posing and mouthing counts. Really: she is a model, hired to be Ya Kid K, the Belgian girl from the lower cover on disposal. Why did they do that? Well, it’s an electronic based album, and well… at the times, that was more of a black audience… nowadays, it is a white packed world, but at the times… let’s just say it was rare (and just to remember there is Ice Ice Baby in Polka Your Eyes Out sends shivers down my spine). So, where to begin… let’s talk about the genre… it is the ground breaking work of the short lived hip-house genre, which mixes hip hop and house music…

Really? How could this monstrosity of a genre even exist? I’m so screwed right now, hip-house? What is that supposed to mean? Hip Hop is already one of the most obnoxious genres in the world, with my beef against it being exactly the exaggeration of computer generated effects that, quite honestly, does not deserve a place in the song they present… and House… well… I haven’t heard a lot of House, but electronic is definitely not my area. I can’t tell trance, techno and house a part… but most of rave crap (yeah, rave crap) is just plain shit. I understand the rhythm to what we should frenzy dance for long hours (holy crap, there are people that stay in those seizure inducing houses for more than one day, from what I could gather, how crazy is that?), but to listen to it in the quietude of your house for me is disturbing. I’m a huge dance machine fan (I have to reinforce, I’m a nerd, I play DDR and Pump It Up), but I always thought that those more techno garbage filled are kind of crappy to dance too… when people start hearing them on iPods, I just get really irritated… it’s just noise! Electronic filled noise!

With that fuck rant out of the way, sorry about that… So, as you can see, I’m not expecting anything out of this one. Sorry, I ain’t. Expect a Daft Punk’s Discovery from this one would bring the same results as listening to Zappa’s debut hoping for something great… wow, cross reference of my second review, this is what, my 36th one? The album cover, in both cases, is really bad, with better props for the final version, with the psychedelic colors and the comic title words, instead of the snail letters. The album runs for about… 56 minutes (crap!), with the longest song, Rockin’ Over the Beat, going for 5:50, and the shortest one, Bluestring, the outro track, with only 2:59. It’s sad to see the shortest song of a bad album be longer than most of the songs on the first album of most bands I enjoy (I’m thinking Beatles).

From what I could gather, it didn’t win any certifications whatsoever, but then again, I know how the music industry is harsh on this type of music and I know that the RIAA hates some music that should be allowed at least a calm breath in. The critics were positive with it, but there was no repercussion in any legal media (read it as “people on the internet enjoyed it” so it would be like saying that Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is awesome because I said so… well, it is… go listen to it), so, actually, you know what? I’m going into this expecting a good experience. I really am. As I write this intro, I still haven’t listen to the album yet, but I’m hoping with all my heart that it’s going to be technowesome! Let’s get this over with: Pump up the Jam… the album… by Technotronic!

1st track: “Pump Up The Jam” – … the song, I guess… so… everyone with something around my age span knows this song by heart by now. It’s a horrible beat and with some bad singing (seriously, by today standards, it would have won an auto-tune make up, so, kudos for that) and lyrics about… well, going dancing, with lame keyboard generic effects, with mixed results. And I can really say my problem with these songs: it has one minute. But that one minute is put on repeat, about 4 times. Strangely, beyond my expectations, it has a… effect solo. Dead serious. It’s the guy with the box with buttons soloing… strange choice, but I would hope to be a bit more invested, you know? I enjoy a good solo, but even the solo is repeated, not that the type of “instrument” he chose can be diversified.

2nd track: “Get Up (Before the Night’s Over)” – So… same fucking formula. Really, it is. It’s a horrible beat with some bad singing, lyrics about dancing, some bad effects… but strangely enough… this one… is not so bad. Maybe because the singing tries to be a little more than words over a beat… maybe because it takes a risk of being hip on the hip house… or maybe, I’m just so fucking used to crumbs that if it has a bit more quality, I’m going to claim it a masterpiece… wasn’t this song on Space Jam? That movie was awesome… this song… not that much. I guess it’s maybe not so horrible… but… yeah, I have to say this before going further. I HATE SAMPLING! I can’t really think of any worse way to annoy me than to grab a song that is famous and popular and using it to your advantage… and there has been people doing this for ages… and it’s HORRIBLE for ages! And well… just look at the name of the song, and you’ll know exactly what song this has samples of. If you’re having trouble discovering which one it is, go get some culture (or at least a James Brown Best Of). This song sucks, solely for that. Next!

3rd track: “Tough” – I think any techno babble song has the same formula, doesn’t it? It’s just a horrible beat that keeps repeating itself indefinitely, with little to no other stuff, and maybe yes, I’m not qualified to review this stuff, but I wanted at least to try… well, let’s see… I’m not exactly used to disc scratching, but I dig it… I can’t say if it’s good, but it’s not distracting or jarring. Besides that, the song is more focused on the hip part of hip house, with rapping on top of the song, but I’m not a fan of… talking fast on top of music… also known as rapping. There are some effects that remind me of the pause in Echoes… that part that everyone skips…

4th track: “Take it Slow” – It starts with a disco flare and has an amusing chorus, some good singing, but the problem is the background… this type of background song doesn’t attract me in the least, so I’ll try not speaking about it… the harmony is actually cool, really… problem: it drags… for far too long. For a song called “Take it Slow”, it shows. You will be listening to it and you will divagate easily… and not in a Floyd kind of divagating, you will be thinking “Man… what was silence like?” So far into the album, and we have half of a song to display. Cool.

5th track: “Come On” – It suffers from that mood of songs, that has this combination of words that are shouted in an indescribable matter, namely, Come On. I’m trying to remember the name of the song that plays on the intro to the NES version of Action 52, but for the life of me, it’s not coming around… it was the only song I ever knew from Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. It has some lyrics, but it’s mostly a techno instrumental, and actually, it kind of works… it reminds me of the early nineties and the dance floors of the time… in a time of new wave and the rock… kind of dying, this is not at all a bad song… sort of enjoyable… doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to it again, but the beat is groovy.

6th track: “This Beat is Technotronic” – Let me get the vodka… why? Oh, I’m always playing a drinking game that, whenever a work mentions something related to its title or creators, I have to take a shot. Unless it’s an album named by a song. This song is from Space Jam… everyone heard this song before… I don’t know if they play like those song, or if they really did… upon research, the only song present on Space Jam from Technotronic is Pump Up the Jam… that by the way, I don’t remember on the movie… or maybe all these songs are the same, with minor tweeks. The song has a good beat (good, for me, is slightly above average, don’t go thinking “Hey, JotaKa liked this shit”, okay?), lame ass lyrics with a lame ass rapper that thankfully vanished with the times and… well, actually, that’s all I have to say about it.

7th track: “Move This” – …move this what? Well, it has been some time since I couldn’t complain about the recording of a song… well, what can I say… this one was recorded probably by an intern. If not by an intern, then the guy that was recording it went: “All Hail Zardoz! Let’s watch some Highlander 2 while we play Action 52 and hear to some Vanilla Ice (again, not looking forward to that)”. The vocals are jarringly higher than the music, to a point that it hurts to listen to. This song abuses physically of me. The harmony is broken, the lyrics are horrible, the rhythm is a piece of probably 6 seconds being repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over… fuck it! This song is a complete PIECE OF SHIT! Come on! There has been something, but this is the low point! THIS IS SALT ‘N PEPPA BAD! Fuck!

8th track: “Come Back” – I’m getting pretty tired of these songs. I’m promising now: this is the last time I’m going to bitch about something that I don’t enjoy in the slightest, because you what, this abuse is not funny anymore. It’s a bad beat, with horrible effects, with jarring cut and paste editing, samples that I don’t recognize, but I can bet my ass they come from a better song, and a feel that, I swear to god, is Stop by Erasure. This song sucks fucking Erasure. A side from that, it’s bad… it’s really really bad.

9th track: “Rockin’ Over the Beat” – I think here is my problem. I used to certain… how to put it… standards between standards. When I hear a music in my field of interest, I think “I want a good singer, a good drum beat, a good guitar, a good bass, and a good lyrics, with a good harmony and overall cohesion”, while in this case, I should be thinking “Screw everything. I want a dance beat that repeats itself until I can get it right and singing that don’t fit ANYWHERE in the song. I want effects that are so bland and uninteresting that they make Kenny G hardcore”. Well, this is the case… on the first seconds, you think “Maybe this one will save itself”… but no, it’s bad… she wouldn’t carry a note even if there was a gun sticking to her forehead this time, the beat is blander than the yellow pages (remember them, oldschool people?), the effects are amazing…ly bad. The song continues the trifecta of horrible crappy songs.

10th track: “Raw” – When you think Raw, you think the least effects possibly: maybe this time around, there is just singing, a minor beat and some minor effects. Instead, you have… ladies and gentleman, this is something that I have to say blows my mind, I didn’t thought it was possible but… we have THE WORST electronic drum kit beat EVER! I was complaining about the fact that the other repeats the same 4 seconds throughout the song… this one is just a “hi-hat”, repeated indefinitely… with no lyrics unless your usual input of someone that thinks he’s enjoying something out of that in the recording session… come on… isn’t there any quality? Not only does it have the same beat FUCKING OVER AND OVER AND OVER, the song with the little tweeks here and there on the melody, you know, keyboard effects, guy saying a “oh yeah” REPEATS IT SELF AS WELL! So… in conclusion, we have a 1 minute song stretched through 5 MINUTES! FUCK! And if you compare this fucker to Ravel’s Bolero because “It also repeats itself for a long time”, blow me.

11th track: “Wave” – No crap, this song is the introduction to MC E.R.I.C (spoiler: HIS NAME IS FUCKING ERIC!) as he tells nothing about him and what the fuck is technotronic. So, as I probably showcased highly enough, we’ve got a more hip concentrated song… no problem… well… actually… I have a problem. I don’t like hip hop. And it sounds like that techno remix of the Mortal Kombat theme (you know, that HORRIBLE techno remix of the MK theme) with some of the worst rap I’ve seen since… well… since Black Eyes Peas Beginning (the album Beginning). Half of it is a rap telling a story that I couldn’t care enough to pay attention to (really, the way the guy raps, you wouldn’t bother paying attention as well) and then, the second half has some different things… including some strange ideas that work and some lame ideas that don’t… maybe if they focused more on the unusual, this song could be less bad… but the repetitiveness of it all annoys the FUCK out of me.

12th track: “Bluestring” – The shortest song of all is also the last. YEY, THE LAST ONE! It’s incredibly familiar and reminds me of a remix of Sympathy for the Devil, but without the Rolling Stones, the song is nothing. It has samples of, what I think are, presidents saying stuff, including about America. You can really see that they were aiming for the American market… since, well, hip-hop was dominant there in the nineties… nowadays, we have a lot of euro hip-hop, but before, it didn’t even exist. Is it a good closer? Just because it’s short. Is it fun? Not in the long shot. Should it be listened? Only after this album, because after the whole album, you really can stand through anything.

So, all does it all hold up? Fucking take a guess. I promise I won’t do this again: it’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to the album. I hate, FUCKING HATE, this genre of music and it’s bland, boring, unimaginative, and EVERY FUCKING TIME I was able to enjoy some shit out of the track, it stopped doing that, almost like a stubborn child doing whatever the fuck you don’t want it to. Stay the fuck away from this album. UNLESS, haha, of course, unless, you like rave music shallow like a saucer that repeats itself over and over and over and over until you want to, this is going to be graphical, pull out your nails with pliers and, with the blood resulting of that, write on the walls, that you beforehand covered in sandpaper and kitchen salt, the lyrics with your fingers! FUCK THIS ALBUM! Is it the worst album I’ve ever reviewed? Maybe yes, it is. But then again, it’s outside of my range of music, so it would be like a literate person like Stephanie Meyer (ouch).

This is JotaKa, signing of.

Tomorrow, Out of Time by R.E.M. Hope to see you there.

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