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Dredg - Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy CD (album) cover



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1 stars Zero Stars

What in god's name happened. Dredg was one of my favorite bands in the world, and I have loved everything they have released up until this point, but this is a bizarre and radical change. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind change, and I don't care what direction a band goes in, as long as the quality is still there. It starts right with the name "Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy" When I heard that name I thought, oh no, they are not taking this seriously.

These songs sound like they have no substance or feeling, something I am not used to saying about Dredg. Everything is bland electro and unfocused. I don't really know how to describe the album since nothing really jumps out at me.

I would give at least a 4/5 to every other Dredg album, but at the end of the day, this new album is meh. Maybe it will grow on me, but I don't know.

Report this review (#440527)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rating this album by Dredg has not been an easy task for me. There were very high expectations regarding that much anticipated new release of a band capable of producing in the past a masterpiece like "El Cielo" and others highly enjoyable and solid works like "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion". No one can pretend that these levels must be necessarily achieved every time but I must confess I was quite disappointed after my first listening to "Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy". This time it REALLY took me several attentive plays before beginning to appreciate it. Understood, in any case you will not reach the point of jumping for joy, mainly because there are still some very, very weak points like "Where I'll end up" and "Before it began" absolutely unworthy of a truly talented band like Dredg and that obviously compromise the final result, but in the end you'll eventually manage not to fall into depression. My final rating is 3 stars.
Report this review (#442321)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Following the absolutely terrific The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion, dredg followed it up by releasing an album of mostly forgettable wanna-be electronic rock. I will give them credit for trying something different, but they failed pretty badly in their attempt to pull a U2 or Radiohead, as their attempt to fuse electronica into their already-established rock sound is a massive failure.

The sad thing is, most of the songs have some cool things going on, but whether it be a limp chorus, a bridge that sounds like it was written to fill space, or a generic guitar riff, most of the songs are ultimately dragged down into being forgettable and mediocre.

I did see them live a few months back, and they kicked ass as usual, and the majority of the new songs they played live sprang more to life, so perhaps some of the blame should go to the overproduced production courtesy of Dan the Automator, but the band themselves ultimately is judged by the music, and by just about any standard, this album is a big disappointment.

I don't think it is so awful as to give it 1 star, but I can't go any higher than 2 stars. I still enjoy Down Without a Fight a lot (probably the most electronic-driven tune on here), and Upon Returning and Where I'll End Up are good tunes that sound good when doing a dredg shuffle playlist. Just about everything else, though, not so much.

For now, stick to the three brilliant albums that preceded this one, and we all just have to hope that they return to form on their next record!

Report this review (#480219)
Posted Monday, July 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
1 stars What the heck, I might as well throw in my 2 cents in about this HIGHLY controversial release from Dredg. EL CIELO was wonderful. CATCH WITHOUT ARMS was good. And THE PARIAH was really good. However, the cycle is broken with CHUCKLES AND MR SQUEEZY. It is not wonderful, good, really good, or anything close. Out of 11 songs available on ITunes. I downloaded just 2- "Another Tribe" and "The Thought of Losing You". Neither is a prog song, but I liked them nonetheless. Everything else off this disc struck me as filler, boring, or just plain irritating. Their sound has been changed so much here that they are basically just another of a million pop rock groups out there. Gone are the wonderful melodies and atmospheres from their previous releases. Even the cover is lame. I am still a big fan of Dredg, but am cautiously awaiting the next release maybe next year. Could be a winner again or it could be the end for me. 1 star
Report this review (#493126)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I do not hand out 5-star reviews lightly and without consideration. But Imperfecta's first review for this site had to be this album, partly because how much I adore it is in stark relief to how maligned it is. I love it, and most everyone else hates it. So be it.

I love that Dredg have upset so many people with 'Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy.' I love that, and I love this album.

I've been a Dredg fan for a while now, and while I don't think they'll ever do anything better than this album's predecessor, 'The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion,' coming off that album in anticipation of the next one, I felt much like the band itself did about album #5: the time was ripe to try something radically DIFFERENT.

Why not, right?

There will never be another opener as affecting and moving as "Ode to the Sun," from the band's third album, 'Catch Without Arms'...but "Another Tribe" is very much this album's "Ode...," if you get what I mean. It catches the attention immediately, holds your attention, and lays down the gauntlet for what this album is all about.

Yes, the band have put so many artificial/electronic treatments on their respective organic instruments that this album sounds quite foreign from any Dredg you've heard before. But I remember seeing this stuff live and "getting" it, even though I was already well into the album. Then with further listens, and more listens, and further listens, suddenly I was able to hear the natural instruments through the electronic haze, in their more organic state. Things like "The Tent," "Sun Goes Down," and "The Thought of Losing You" peeling off their layers and revealing themselves. And what they revealed where this: great songs, written by songwriters who are the best at their craft.

Speaking of the "The Tent," I'll call it the most cinematic piece of aural art to emerge since, well, since at least Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)." The imagery it evokes is absolutely haunting.

First-time listens help a bare, acoustic track "Kalathat" stand out prominently, and this album definitely ends a little lopsided with the waltz-y "Where I'll End Up" and spaghetti western vibe of "Before it Began" throwing you into more new places than the end of any album should do. But that's Dredg for you...ever off-kilter, ever unpredictable, and still absolutely 100% GREAT. This will probably be one of those albums, like Voivod's 'Angel Rat' or Yes's 'Drama,' where people go "Oh, I get it now...I love it now" years and years after its release. It will endure.

Report this review (#550425)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Although I like more melodic and mellow side of Prog at times, there are some limits even I feel difficult to Cross. Like when you get THIS. At first, I was like "Hahahaha!", because even I didn't like Dredg's reportedly masterpiece album (El Cielo), I couldn't deny it its qualities (which earned it so high rating from so many reviews). But this is rock bottom in terms of complexity, but also it's big departure in terms of enjoyability. I liked their last album a bit, but Chuckles shows most of symptoms what I hate about today's music. This is a doomed album, move on.
Report this review (#607494)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars It looks like a lot of people were shocked at the sudden change of direction of this album compared to dredg's other albums. I believe what they were trying to achieve here was a more popularized alternative feeling with this album, more electronic and almost hip-hop feeling like Gorillaz or Minus the Bear. Those bands have utilized those sounds quite effectively and well. Unfortunately, this attempt by dredg just feels flat. That is a good way to describe the sound here. However, I think if they choose to continue in this particular direction, they might be able to come up with a better album than this if done right. We already know what kind of excellent music dredg can achieve from the masterpiece albums they have released in the past; namely "El Cielo" and "The Pariah, the Parrot and The Delusion". There is no doubt that if instead they decide to return to form that they can release more great albums. Time will tell I guess.

In this album, all the rough edges and hard guitar are gone. The vocals are good on some songs and sort of flat-lined on others. The lyrics are sometimes interesting, and sometimes repetitive. The electronic drums that are used from time to time seem to drain life out of the songs. The guitars are pushed to the back and electronics are given the lime light. Emotion seems to be missing on these songs.

As much as I love dredg's music from past efforts, I try so much to pull something good out of this album, but it is just so hard to do so after the amazing music that I have heard them produce. I can't even see them winning over more fans by popularizing their music in this way because it just sounds too plastic. Maybe I can help you understand how bad this sounds by comparing this to Styx with their albums "The Grand Illusion" and "Cornerstone". The first was a masterpiece and the other was a miserable failure at attempting to popularize their sound. The main difference is I feel I could rate "Cornerstone" at 3 stars. I'm afraid I can only settle for 2 stars here because of a couple of okay songs like "Kalathat" and "Sun Goes Down" that show a little hope, but even that hope seems watered down compared to their amazing work from the past.

Report this review (#1312031)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars When "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" came out I was a little frightened. There's a reason people say, "I like their early stuff" when talking about almost any band. It's because 90% of the time it's true. With early albums the sound is fresh, a band is able to explore and experiment as they seek out their sound, and the listener is blessed with a variety of fresh flavors. The first three Dredg albums were exactly that, each alike yet vastly different from the next in execution. The reason why I was scared when "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" was released was because Dredg had finally been around awhile, and were moving away from "early album" territory. Much to my surprise The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" exceeded expectations. It was another beautiful installment, which I likened to "El Cielo", an album I still consider one of the greatest rock albums, and easily the best of their musical career. Not even a year and a half after the release of "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" my fears were realized again as Dredg announced they were already back in the studio for their fifth album. I thought it was much too soon, and the album took hardly anytime in the studio to finish. You know, I really don't care if a band changes their style. In fact, I welcome most bands doing so, and recognize most bands will gradually change their style probably without even realizing it. I figured I'd buy it anyway. Trust me - my problem isn't that the album has an electronic or "pop" style overtone at all. I knew only one of two things could come of this "new sound": either this album was going to be mind-blowingly good, or just a waste of time. Now, I understood there would never be another, "El Cielo" or "Catch Without Arms". Never would there be another song like, "The Canyon Behind Her". I dealt with the fact that it would be near impossible to recreate anything in the Dredg discography. But that doesn't mean the CD could not have the same strength. This album is probably the weakest among the five albums. The clever song writing that could be found on the other four albums is not there. It doesn't have the same heart behind it. The fantastic opening tracks and strong conclusions I had become accustomed to were now dulled. The songs sound like they have no substance or feeling, something I am not used to saying about Dredg. Everything is bland and unfocused. This, however, does not mean the album is a complete waste of time. If you're willing to take the time and listen, Dredg is still there. Still, some tracks, like Another Tribe, Kalathat, Where I'll End Up and even the final reworking of "The Ornament" i found to be something Dredg fans should enjoy. |But at the same time as a Dredg fan, I feel I need something else. When the last track was finished I thought, "That's it? We're just going to stop right there?" Maybe I was so used to the 16 track "El Cielo" or the ambitious 18 track "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion". I feel like I wanted something emotional, but instead recieved a cold shoulder. I didn't get what I was expecting or what I was in the mood for. If it were a debut album from another band this CD I might be a little more into the music, but it's the soul of Dredg fans wanted, which, for the most part, cannot really be found on this album. In closing the album is very flat, has very few layers and many uninteresting songs. It also suffers from poor production - the album sounds and feels rushed, from the cover to the packaging to the music.

For collectors and fans only.

Report this review (#2171181)
Posted Thursday, April 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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