Thursday, October 1, 2009

LMFAO - Party Rock

2009 may be remembered as the year dance went pop. Sure, it's happened before. But this time around it involves an art-damaged club kid taking Middle America for a ride on her disco stick, everyone from R&B crooners to frat-rock bands singing over four-on-the-floor beats, and rappers jacking samples from 90's trance. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more ridiculous, here come LMFAO.

The LA producers/remixers are crashing the party, ready to bring their own brand of mindless dance-pop to the masses. Their first full-length release Party Rock is a sweaty sleazy mash-up of everything to come out of clubland in the last 5 – 10 years. Two-man team, Red Foo and Blu Sky, shamelessly blend together Daft Punk’s robotic disco beats, Chromeo-esque vocoder funk, and the trash-talking ghetto-tech of Detroit Grand Pubahs and DJ Assault.

It ain't exactly original. But at times it's pretty damn catchy. The 14 tracks on here writhe and bounce with nu-rave blips and squiggles, pulsating synths, and guilty pleasure party rhymes. This is not music to be taken seriously. It's tasteless, campy, debauched, escapist fun.
These guys aren't looking to change the game. They just want you to get freaky on the dance floor.

In keeping with the party rock theme, most of the songs here revolve around drinking, drugging, dancing, and/or sex. Some veer into cartoonish misogyny with endless tales of bitches, bj's and booty. Yeah, I know…it's supposed to be ironic. They're in on the joke, right? But hearing two grown men shout "pull your ti**es out like you're part of an African tribe" goes beyond wink wink nod nod into just straight wince.

Over half of the songs on Party Rock were released last year. As a result, some of the older material now feels dated. “I’m in Miami Bitch” has already been done to death. But there are also references to taking someone "off your top 8" and in the most desperate display of struggling for relevancy, a guest appearance by aging crunkster Lil' Jon.

Truth be told, there are a few tracks on here that could be sandwiched between some Spank Rock and a Crookers remix and no one would bat an eye. "I am Not a Whore" rattles with an almost Green Velvet-like stark bassline and disembodied vocal. "What Happens at the Party" is a dirty bass workout while "I Shake, I Move" teems with electro-rock intensity.

Clunkers like "I'm Leaving You for the Groove" and "Lil' Hipster Girl" on the other hand would feel right at home on the 2009 edition of Jock Jams. Which just might be the market LMFAO and their silly lenseless-glasses are aiming for. The jury is still out on exactly who these clown princes of party rock are parodying. Themselves? Pop music? Dance music? All of the above? Whoever the joke is on, these guys are LOLing all the way to the dance floor.

Overall Grade: C+

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