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12 Golden Country Greats

Ween

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Album Review

The main problem with 12 Golden Country Greats (which only contains ten songs, by the way) is that it's Ween's first album to concentrate on a single music genre and such concentration lends the impression that they consider themselves above the genre. But that isn't entirely the case. Ween recorded 12 Golden Country Greats in Nashville with numerous legendary musicians, including the Jordanaires, Buddy Spicher, Charlie McCoy, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Russ Hicks. The presence of these musicians gives the music a very authentic feeling, even though the songs stick to '60s trends like country-pop, country-folk, and polished honky tonk. Some of Ween's songs fit this style perfectly, such as the rolling "You Were the Fool," "I'm Holding You," "Japanese Cowboy," "Fluffy," "Help Me Scrape the Mucus off My Brain," and "Pretty Girl." Even the vulgar honky tonk of "Piss up a Rope" works, turning into a truly delightful gem. The duo runs into trouble on the homophobic "Mister Richard Smoker," as well as with some of the vaguely elitist views that underpin the songs, such as on "I Don't Wanna Leave You on the Farm." Still, Ween's gift for songcraft and the talents of the Nashville musicians prevent the album from being just a joke. In fact, it's as satisfying as any of their records, and gutsier, too. After all, no country fan will want to hear this record and most of their fans are afraid of country music, and that's sort of an admirable move.

Biography

Formed: 1984 in New Hope, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Ween was the ultimate cosmic goof of the alternative rock era, a prodigiously talented and deliriously odd duo whose work traveled far beyond the constraints of parody and novelty into the heart of surrealist ecstasy. Despite a mastery for seemingly every mutation of the musical spectrum, the group refused to play it straight; in essence, Ween was bratty deconstructionists, kicking dirt on the pop world around them with demented glee. Along with the occasional frat-boy lapses into misogyny, racism,...
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12 Golden Country Greats, Ween
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