SOUND & THE CITY -- A Boston Music blog
Entry 457: A Review of Athair's newest album "Aimin' to Misbehave" -- A Letter from a Disillusioned Fan
Dear Edward Cullen,
It's with great regret that I have to inform you that I'm no longer one of your fans. It's too bad, because at one point, I pretty much worshipped the ground you walked on.
When I was 11, my dad, who was a police officer, was shot. He wasn't even on duty, but it didn't matter--he was the kind of guy who stepped in and did what was right, even if he wasn't wearing his uniform. After he died, my mom assumed full custody of me. A lot of girls might have appreciated this, seeing as I was at the age when girls start emulating their mothers. I didn't. I hated it every second of it.
I started listening to rock music when I was 12 because it was what my dad listened to, and also because it pissed my mom off.
At first it was the Who, Dire Straits, the Beatles, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest. Then, Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots, the Presidents of the United States, and most importantly, Nirvana.
I was 16 when I discovered Athair and you, Edward Cullen. Music is like a god to me, and I would never lie about it's importance in my life, but you, almost singlehandedly, saved me from murdering my mother, my stepfather, and almost everyone else in Orange County.
Thus, my reluctance to break up with you.
I endured rumors of all night boozing and jackass shenanigans. I pretended that the truckload full of women that you rotated through like a revolving door didn't exist. I even pretended that you weren't arrested for indecent exposure while on stage last year.
I ignored all the shit that you surrounded yourself with (Rosalie Hale, I'm looking at you), because I couldn't imagine someone so passionate about music ignoring what mattered most. I was wrong. Totally, completely, 100% wrong.
As someone who has obsessed for years over your music, I feel completely qualified and within my rights to say that you're a fucking fraud. You lured us in with the promise of perfectionism and obsession. You swore that you would never compromise your artistic ideals--and you were right; you didn't just compromise them, you completely fucking destroyed them.
I really tried to like "Aiming to Misbehave." In fact, I listened to it for three days straight, sending my roommate to the corner drugstore for ear plugs. However, the promising title (my favorite character is Jayne, btw) is the only positive point in an album that is an absolute stew of noxious, almost-radioactive crap.
Starting from the top, the album cover is a paean to your ego. Come on, Edward, do more women really need to see your cock? I've heard that it's made the rounds so often that I'm shocked to see it hasn't fallen off yet. However, I don't really think celebrating that it's still attached by putting it on your album cover (no matter how how many weird colors or graphic elements you use to mask it) is either necessary or appropriate. It also might severly hamper your sales if stores aren't actually allowed to carry the album becuase it's considered public indecency. Your marketing team might not have informed you of this, so I thought I'd tell you as a favor, considering all the years we've spent together.
As for the music, I have to confess that I never once, not in the three consecutive days (that's 72 total hours, Edward), could make it entirely through the first song on the album. Of course, referring to it as a "song" might be rather generous of me, considering it sounds as if gang of apes were let loose in your studio for three minutes.
"Foreplay," however, isn't even the worst track on the album. When confronted with the conundrum of choosing just one track to be considered the worst on this cacophony of an album, I found myself totally stumped. Is it "Ride Me Like an Animal"? The lyrics of this progressive work tell us to call you "big boy" and "donkey kong." I am not sure that more references to your male anatomy are prudent at this point--or really necessary, considering that it's displayed on the cover for us to judge ourselves.
In fact, there's an alarming number of references to the same object that's displayed on the cover. Some bands, such as Muse and Coheed & Cambria, are taking more of a thematic approach to albums these days. I enjoy those efforts, but I have to tell you that an album created solely about your dick is honestly not very interesting. This may come as a surprise, since there are an enormous number of women who probably tell you otherwise.
Track #3, "Sin with Me," is, simply put, an abomination that's masked in the form of a "love" song. I put love into quotations because I am not sure that you're 1) sure what love means or 2) capable of understanding the emotion at all. If "Sin with Me" is your idea of what love really entails, then I have to inform you that counseling is an excellent option.
"Shamrock Shaking," the fourth track, relies on exactly three chords and despite the overly rousing chorus, could possibly double as a lullaby. As jigs go, its profoundly mediocre and could have been composed by a drunken 80 year old to clear out any local pub at last call.
As for the fifth track, "The Rag Rag," I think the idea was to make us unsure whether to laugh or cry. Instead, all I want to do is kick you in the balls for writing a song about having sex during a woman's period. If this is your idea of a joke, you should be aware that there are some things that just aren't funny. This is one of them. Don't ever do it again, you sick bastard.
"Bushed," about Bushmill's whiskey, sounds like it's a commercial jingle. See my earlier comments regarding selling out. Perhaps if this is instead your idea of a viable song, you should consider drinking something other than whiskey once in awhile. It appears it's totally pickled both your brain and your ability to write good songs.
Even though I've said it before, I'll say it again. Albums themed around your dick are lame. "Swallowing Salt" is a craptastic lament to bad blowjobs. Maybe you should have composed a lament to bad song writing instead, because that would have been more appropriate under the circumstances.
I understand how it's a trendy thing to cover a song that's way outside your normal genre. However, I have to tell you that I don't think that ABBA and Irish punk are really two genres that should ever be mixed. Despite this, I can see why you thought "Fernando" was a good idea in theory. It's a song that talks about war and guns, and while it is ridiculously cheesy, I think you could have potentially pulled it off, if you had practiced it more than twice or had put any thought into interpretation whatsoever. Instead, the song feels as if you reached into the musical grab bag and pulled a random track out and stuck it on the album to round out the piss poor tracks you already had. ABBA's original version is vastly superior to yours, and, considering they're my mother's favorite band and therefore my least favorite band, this is saying something.
Rounding out this album that attempts to pass as actual music is the final track, titled, "Hair of the Dog." Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this track is referring to the practice of getting absolutlely beyond-drunk wasted, and then puking, and then re-consuming the alcohol. I'm hoping (more than you can possibly imagine) that this is not what you were referring to, but considering the quality level of this whole body of work, I have a horrible feeling that my assumption is right and that you yourself did this a number of times during the recording of this steaming pile of shit.
I know this review has seemed rather harsh at moments. Believe me, I would rather not have written it--I would much rather not be forced into questioning why someone with so much natural musical talent would waste his time writing material like this. I hate being so negative, especially to you, Edward, but there is no choice here. Someone has to do you the service of telling you that you're capable of so much more than this worthless garbage, but until that day, I'm not going to waste any more of my time trying to figure you out.
AN: This is the prologue to Sins of the Father, my new AH novel-length story.
This entry, #457, is an important part of the story, so I have included it here as an introduction to the characters.
Chapter 1 will be posting tomorrow and I will be updated every Tuesday.
Thanks to my beta, JosieSwan (you MUST check out her new story, In the Shadow of Ursa Major--on my favorites list).