Considered by the unconverted to be a novelty act, but Ween is not just some sort of "joke" band. There is certainly much juvenile humor, off-the-wall wackiness and playfull pastiche to be found on any of their albums, but that is never the whole story. Much like Frank Zappa or The Residents, Ween are excellent musicians and recording artists who tend to obscure and downplay their particular genius with excessive amounts of weirdness. That being said, one listen to "Chocolate and Cheese" should convince anyone who has reservations that these brothers have the goods. This is their first "properly" produced album, when their albums were no longer drowning in deliberately lo-fi sound, or stocked full of songs as practical jokes. One amazing song after another, each completely self-contained and unique, make this is a kaleidoscopically rich and rewarding experience. Ween does such a great job in so many styles - psychedelic pop, funk, country, soul...They're an extraordinary genre-hopping experience. "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" may be the creepiest song ever commited to tape, the harrowing sadness of "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?", "Freedom of '76" is a powerful RnB tune with one of Gene Ween's greatest vocal performances, "A Tear for Eddie" is a sublime guitar instrumental in honor of Eddie Hazel (original guitarist of Funkadelic), "Baby Bitch" sounds like a polished psychedelic nugget from 1967, "Voodoo Lady" is pure 70's funk that's astonishing in its mastery of style, and "Buenas Tardes Amigo" is a rolling outlaw ballad, complete with Tex-Mex accents and an outstanding, engrossing story of revenge and guilt, with a twist ending. A quite accessible collection of songs, coupled with the album's musical range, make "Chocolate and Cheese" a great entry point for a first-time listener. All the musical prowess that they have displayed previously is focused here into one cohesive rock album - and it's damn good.
#Ween #ChocolateAndCheese #1994 #ElektraRecords #Reissue #PlainRecordings #ColoredVinyl #CocoaVinyl #CheddarVinyl #GeneWeen #DeanWeen #AaronFreeman #MickeyMelchiondo #ClaudeColemanJr #AlternativeRock #PsychedelicRock #FunkRock #ExperimentalRock