The Weepies much hyped (by me) 4th album release, Be My Thrill brings much disappointment to little miss me.
The first track, “Please Speak Well of Me” starts off the album with disappointing lyrics, especially to one who so fondly recalls gems off the band’s sophomore release, Say I Am You, such as “Painting by Chagall.” The peppy melody and handclapping does not seem to fit the melancholy tone of the short and disjointed lyrics. The second song, “When You Go Away” brings some hope to the fans the Weepies longer lyrical style, though the chorus is terribly cliche. However, next up, “Red Red Rose” is highly disappointing. Repeating the same word three times did not work for Fiona Apple (ie: “Red Red Red” or “Please Please Please”), and though it may work for teaching Deb Talen and Steve Tannen’s son Theo to speak, it does not work in the context of the Weepies body of work. Ix-nay the Ed-Ray.
The album’s first single, “I Was Made For Sunny Days,” still brightens my day. I have heard it umpteen times and I still love it. Melodically and lyrically, it is lovely. Though quite different from the musical style of the first two Weepies albums, it recalls the same spirit. And I love it. Thanks. “They’re In Love, Where Am I?” is a sweeping little ditty, that though very pretty, is far too repetitive to be worthy of the Weepies mantle that crowns my Top 5 list. How many times can you repeat the title of the song before it gets old? “Add My Effort” reeks of hooks. A two line chorus? Deb! Steve! No. Please no more of this. We’re only on track 6. You have time to make it up to me. “Be My Thrill” starts off with a rollicking tempo. The lyrics are almost obnoxiously rhyming, though cute. At least until we get to //be my what, my open and shut/my everything but, my little hot slut//??? Seriously? Whatever. The presence of an actual bridge is redeeming, though. Most of the songs on the album so far have been very bridge-less, which is unusual for my dear Weepies.
Whoever thought to put “Be My Honeypie” right after “Be My Thrill” was a practical joker. That’s just sad. “Honeypie” keeps up with the rhyming of every short line with the next. Honestly, kids, every short line doesn’t need to rhyme continuously, especially within each line. “Hummingbird” is a throwback to the Weepies old writing style. The music continues in the vein begun with 2008’s Hideaway, and is a redeeming song on this otherwise average album. “Hard to Please” is pretty good. I’m not really sure what I think about it. I like it but…it’s still not at all what I want from the Weepies. I was at first pretty adverse towards Hideaway, but finally came around to it this year. It was still a far more complex album than Be My Thrill is turning out to be. I dunno. It’s okay. “Not A Lullaby” is also just okay. I like the first two verses, but after the first chorus it kind of got old.
“How Do You Get High?” is just bizarre. The first few seconds instantly brought to mind Spoon’s “That’s The Way We Get By” only it’s not as good. Each line has the same melody as the line before. I expected so much more from you, Weepies. “Hope Tomorrow” brings back the melodic strains of “I Was Made For Sunny Days” but seems to speak against the plasticity of culture. “Empty Your Hands” tells parents to forget the woes of the world because their children are growing up faster than they think. It’s very political, with lines telling to “empty your hands [of] static from the big bang and dinosaur radio stations” and “genocides in foreign nations.”
Overall…I don’t like it. The music is okay for the first few songs, but after that it become repetitive. The lyrics are severely lacking. It feels like Be My Thrill must have been a very personal album for Deb and Steve, but I don’t really care to live their personal lives, I just want to hear good music. Unfortunately, this falls flat. The only standout track is the first single, “I Was Made For Sunny Days.” I suppose it’s a terribly peppy album, filled with ups and downs of life, but very little stands out as anything amazing. And remember, this is coming from someone who probably listens to the Weepies every day. Say I Am You is at the top of my Top 5. Maybe I just built them up too much in my mind, but I don’t think so.
Nettwerk, August 31, 2010.
1. Please Speak Well of Me
2. When You Go Away
3. Red Red Rose
4. I Was Made for Sunny Days
5. They’re In Love, Where Am I?
6. Add My Effort”
7. Be My Thrill
8. Be My Honeypie
10. Hard to Please
11. Not a Lullaby
12. How Do You Get High?
13. Hope Tomorrow
14. Empty Your Hands
PS: I know you liked it, Aaron, but I just don’t dig it. :(