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ANTIPOP

Primus

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GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Don't let the title fool you, this is arguably Primus' most poppy and listenable album. The songs are catchy, but still just about as progressive and absurd as always. However, when compared to previous works, it does not compare to Frizzle Fry or Seas of Cheese. Claypool's bass playing seems less adventurous on the album, and the songs overall are heavier and more "metal" than usual. This is due in part to the inclusion of RATM guitarist Tom Morello on "Mama Didn't Raise no Fool" and Metallica's James Hetfield on other tracks. Primus draws from all their same influences on this album, including Rush, King Crimson and Zappa, but also include more metal influences. The opener "Electric Uncle Sam" is undeniably heavy, but not very experimental. The tracks rock pretty steadily throughout the record, which makes it fairly easy to listen to on the first spin (a phenomenon uncommon to prog, especially Primus). The exception to this is the final track, "Coattails of a Deadman", which is presumably a rant against Courtney Love and her track to fame after the death of Kurt Cobain. The album's highlight is "Final Voyage of the Liquid Sky" which more than makes up for the lack of progressiveness and experimentalism in the other tracks. This could be the album for you if you are a prog-metal fan looking to get into Primus, but their earlier albums come with higher recommendation overall.
Report this review (#42036)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Primus' 1999 album would fare better than their previous studio effort The Brown Album, but still wouldn't live up to the excellent albums that preceded it. This album would also prove to the their last true studio album (unless you can count the Animals Should Not Try to Act Like Humans reunion collection a studio album), and their last to feature the drumming talents of Brian "Brain" Mantia. This album would also have a slew of guest producers and guest musicians, with the producers ranging from Stewart Copeland to Tom Waits (and even Matt Stone, co-creator of South Park), and the guest musicians ranging from Tom Morello to James Hetfield. Despite the title of the album being Antipop, this album is probaby their most commercial effort to date and had a hit song in Lacquer Head.

Rather than discuss every track (as there are a lot of them), I'll talk about the tracks that really got my attention and were very good. The first of which is Lacquer Head, which is nothing more than a straightfoward hard rock/metal song and yet the guitar and bass interplay is quite nice and the multi-layered vocals are quite nice as well. The Antipop is an interesting piece with some interesting guitar work from LeLonde and a nice drum performance from Mantia, as well as a nice modulated bass tone from Claypool. Eclectic Electric is among the two longer tracks of the album, this one at about eight and a half minutes (the other one would be Coattails of a Dead Man). It paved the way for tracks like The Last Superpower off of Animals... with the psychedelic echo bass intro, with many layers of intertwining and melodic bass lines filling the main sound. About halfway into the piece the sound of it completely changes from atmospheric to crushingly heavy, and the change and dynamic that brings in the change is actually rather nice.

Greet the Sacred Cow begins with an Indian sounding chant and atmosphere and some mixed percussion from Mantia with an underlying modulated bass line from Claypool. The lyrics are rather humorous and the overall feel of the song is fun (and the chord progression is killer). Dirty Drowning Man is the Stewart Copeland produced track of the album, and you wouldn't actually know it unless you saw it mentioned anywhere (naturally). The bass is great and the drumming at times reminds me of Tim Alexander and the guitar ranges from Lifeson-esque arpeggios to muddy block chords with a Frippian edge. The Final Voyage of the Liquid Sky begins with a great modulated bass solo. It's one of the best, if not the best song on the album, most definitely along with the next track the most progressive of the album. Coattails of a Deadman is a bit of a strange tune, with an ill-setting mellotron line and some disheartening lyrics (supposedly a slam against Courtney Love), as well as some Tom Waits vocal wails. The main track runs for about the first 5 minutes and then there is silence. Around the 6 minute mark another song comes around. A secret track? Most likely. The song itself is the old Primus song The Heckler (which made its debut on the album Suck on This). It's a surprising ending and I really liked the song on Suck on This so this version is just as good.

In the end, Antipop isn't a bad album at all, it just doesn't compare stylistically with previous Primus efforts (disregarding The Brown Album, of course). Fans of Prog Metal will probably find something to like with the crushingly heavy overall sound, but I'm not so sure that they'll like the over the top basslines (which is the main sound of Primus). Me? I'm in the middle on the album, there's some definitely awesome material and some material that leaves me a bit cold and is mainly mediocre. To quote a lyric from The Heckler, "It's just a matter of opinion". 3/5.

Report this review (#85858)
Posted Saturday, August 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars In this short(ish) review im splitting the songs into sections of producers as i think its easier to capulate the sound.

Tom Morrello - 2.Electric uncle Sam 2/5 8.Mama didnt raise no fool 2/5 9.power mad 2/5

The addition of Tom Morrello producing and playing guitar on these tracks is clearly heard as the songs is set out in true Ratm fashion, with up tempo intro lines into a heavy chorus and slow paced funk verses with the exception of power mad which sounds something of a ratm b-side. Though Primus will never be anyway near the term pop this is as close as it gets as with these songs with the structure remaining predictable. Though these Morello guested tracks arent bad they dont bring me the sence of a Primus record as i feel i've heard it before.

Matt Stone - 3.Natural Joe 3/5

Natural Joe sounds more like traditional Primus with odd grooves/timing and Claypool adding his odd bass leads.The song as a whole ,feels more free.As on this song every member shines out specially towards the end but still remains average to its predacessors.

Fred Durst - 4.Lacquer head 4/5 9.Dirty drowning man 3/5

Lacquer head was Primus's only single of this record and has every right to be .The song contains solids grooves,fast and experimental bass leads and a rocking chorus making it a very creative highlight of the album. Dirty drowning man has a slight middle eastern feel with a great drum and bass section highlighting my favourite Brain preformance on this album.There is no notable difference between producers Stone and Durst.

Primus - 1.Intro 5.The Anti-pop 2.5/5 6.Electric Electric 4/5 7.Greet the sacred Cow 3/5 10.The Ballad of Bodacious 3/5 12. The Final Voyage Of The Liquid Sky 2/5

Though primus have regularly have had the term funk metal i think these songs and most of the album is the true definition with the heavy chorus's and agressive playing by all,though this should be obvious as most of the guest musicians come from a metal background with Hetfeild and Jim Martin guesting on guitar on Electric Electric.

The Antipop has a very slow metal feel up to the chorus where it begins to become more up tempo and remains heavy throughout,a fairly good song though maybe shouldnt be a title track. Electric Electric ,i noticed straight away a pink floyd reference from the wall and One of these days as soon as the bass enters though this may not be intentional,this song is more vocal based with the music taking it very easy at first where it suddenley becomes very heavy with great bass playing from Claypool.Clearly one of my favourite tracks on this album. On sacred cow it has almost the same feel as the antipop though i feel i can hear more of a jazz fusion influence seperating the many other songs by an inch. Ballad of Bodacious has a fun vocal medlody much like older primus songs, making this song stand out more then the other heavier songs. The Final Voyage Of The Liquid Sky has a great use of strange effects ,if your familar with the fearless flying frog bridage theres an early sound here from where claypool went next,though as every song this remains more heavy then other projects. Tom Waits - 13.Coattails of a dead man 4/5

If your a fan of Waits then this may make up for other songs on the album.The music and vocal melody sounds like a Waits record with him guesting on vocals with claypool.The one problem is the contrast between Claypools "southern" Accent and Waits's huksey voice can clash but the collabration of the two more then makes up for it.

If your a fan of Funk/metal its a great addition to have but sounds very weak for a primus record.

Report this review (#134682)
Posted Friday, August 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'd like to offer a dissenting opinion of this album. To me it is PRIMUS' best work, a heady concoction of borderline prog-metal with an enormous slab of funk funk and lyrics which, surprisingly, verge on the meaningful. Even LES CLAYPOOL's off-key singing is listenable.

This is what 'Antipop' gives you: great tunes, simple song structures, clearer production than the traditional muddy PRIMUS sound and, of course, CLAYPOOL's bizarre and self-conscious humour. And, above all, the album is a showcase for CLAYPOOL's astonishing virtuosity with the bass guitar. There are no pointless tracks on this album, previously the curse of PRIMUS recordings: all the tracks are interesting at least and spectacular at best. Just give 'Greet the Sacred Cow' a listen. I'm still not sure I can bring myself to think of PRIMUS as progressive, but they're certainly worth checking out.

If you want to give this band a spin, try either this album or 'Sailing the Seas of Cheese'.

Report this review (#162767)
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Just before I submit this review, the albums score was 3.18 out of 5.... I can't understand that personally. For me, I would easily give this album a good 4.2 out of 5 though I'm restricted to 4.... here's why:

Antipop is one of the most funky albums I've heard in a long time, its humourous, loveable, catchy all the way through and above all - it's a great summary, musically, of Primus' work to date. Key tracks for me are (well they're all really good but) The Antipop, Electic Electric and Greet The Sacred Cow.

I would recommend this album to... well, anyone who has a desire to try new music and new styles. So basically, if you don't on this, give it a whirl. And if you like it, try Frizzle Fry or Seas of Cheese.

Report this review (#163779)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars While this album has all of the things that made me love Primus in the past, there also seems to be something missing, and I can't quite place it. The band still sounds like the result of throwing The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Residents and Captain Beefheart in a blender, and I still enjoy listening to this album, it just doesn't affect me the way the earlier albums do. Maybe it's Metallica's James Hetfield snd the other guests who make this album too "Normal", I don't know.

But still, Les Claypool's savagely slapped bass and Larry LaLonde's wild guitar are always a good reason to celebrate.

Report this review (#305601)
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The last Primus album is a real mixed bag. Theres some utter brilliance mixed with some mediocrity. As usual the actually playing is amazing, three virtuoso musicians throwing their talent about with wild abandon. On Laquerhead, antipop and voyage there are some truly sublime moments. On the downside you still have les claypools idiosyncratic vocals and bizarre lyrical voyages which can certainly alienate the listener. But give the album a few spins and it all starts to make some sort of sense. Claypool is a god amongstbass players. He does things with that instrument which defy aural belief. Lalonde and Brain are often overlooked because of this but are both fantastic musicians themselves.

A 4 star album as there are more stand out moments than average ones.

Report this review (#348488)
Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
TCat
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I don't think this deserves such a low rating. Maybe it's a little different from Primus' other releases because the rough edges have been mostly removed on this album that were very apparent on all of their other releases. The production seems to be a little higher quality and this smooth's out Les' vocals and also the instrumentals. I really believe that is what is missing here and that is what everyone is having a hard time with this album. However, the playing and the song structure is still top notch. The reviewers here keep saying that they don't know what is missing, but for my ears, I know its the rough edges that are missing. Still, I don't think that should merit a rating below 4. Previously, the overall rating was lower, now with time, it is slowly climbing closer to where it should be. To me, the smoother side of Primus (even though were talking smoother in relativity to their previous albums, new listeners will listen to this and say "Smooth?....WTF?") is still worth a listen. Other than the fact that the sound is missing the rough edges, this is still enjoyable....the funkiness, the crazy bass and guitar hooks, they are still there. And then there is still that feeling that Les Claypool is like a demented uncle that wants to sit you on his lap, tell you a story to make you laugh and feel a little uneasy, and then think "How the hell did I end up on this mad man's lap?" 4 stars is a fair rating in my mind.
Report this review (#1281765)
Posted Monday, September 22, 2014 | Review Permalink

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