Volume 93, Issue 41

Thursday, November 11, 1999


Comedian living the high life

Building a Shakey base

Kilt pulling threads from Celtic music fabric

Marcy Playground stuck on see-saw

Marcy Playground stuck on see-saw

Marcy Playground
Capitol Records

Forget "Sex and Candy" – it was overplayed and it was lame. Shapeshifter, the newest album by Marcy Playground, is much more indicative of the kind of music this group has the potential to produce.

A sound which veers between pop and punk – somehow creating a hybrid of the two – quirky lyrics and some catchy hooks define the real Marcy Playground. Unfortunately, much of the group's potential seems to remain unrealized.

Album opener and first single, "It's Saturday," gives the disc a nice, crunchy start, rife with power chords. The mood is flipped with the very next song, an acoustic ballad entitled "America." The song carries a haunting quality which will reward listeners. The strongest song on the record, "Bye Bye," is an effective exercise in pop perfection.

Despite possessing these qualities, however, Shapeshifter is maddeningly inconsistent, with half of the songs proving to be less than memorable. With lyrics seemingly put together through a word association game, the song "Secret Squirrel" will just baffle listeners. Evidence – "Secret Squirrel splashes in/Sirens warn Tsunami/Secret's come to save us all/Sirens warn imminent doom."

A nice touch, however, is that the album is an enhanced compact disc. The band has included the four videos they've released so far, including "Comin' Up From Behind," a song which is only available on the Cruel Intentions soundtrack.

But unfortunately, in the end, Marcy Playground doesn't quite live up to the potential of which they seem capable.

–Terry Warne

World Wrestling Federation
The Music: Volume 4
Koch Records

The release of the fourth installment of WWF: The Music is yet another testament to how wrestling fans will buy anything with the WWF logo on it, even if it's crappy merchandise. And this CD has crappy written all over it.

Musically, the disc is like any compilation – it has a mix of good and bad songs. On the good side is "Break Down the Wall," wrestler Chris Jericho's theme song, which sounds like something Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock would produce. Among other bright spots are the very catchy "My Time," the entrance song for Triple H and "Know Your Role," which heralds the Rock's appearance as he tells listeners to "stick this CD straight up your candy ass."

The problem with this album is the inclusion of tracks such as "Assman," the theme for Mr. Ass and "Sexual Chocolate," belonging to Mark Henry. The lyrics and the music on these efforts can be described much like the wrestlers they were written for – lame.

The CD proves to be a mix of bad rap, weak techno and other music which is beyond any real definition. The Undertaker's "Ministry" is a good example of this, as it can only be described as some kind of eerie Halloween anthem, involving the Undertaker chanting a bizarre prayer in gibberish.

The CD's biggest disappointment is the changing of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "Oh Hell Yeah," which sounds more like a cheesy heavy metal song than his traditional entrance theme.

The only productive thing to do with this compilation is to keep it on hand so when you walk into a room you can have some sort of theme music playing while you're strutting your stuff.

For the rest of us who live in reality, this is yet another CD which should remain on the shelf.

–Chad Thompson

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Copyright The Gazette 1999