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Mysterium Mysterium

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Album Review

Dennis Driscoll's Mysterium Mysterium just might be to '60s AM pop and post-doo wop what Spinal Tap is to pop-metal, GWAR is to thrash metal and Gerry House is to honky tonk — in other words, a total parody of the style that he is focusing on. If the singer/songwriter didn't bring a huge dose of irony to this CD, it would be easy to rip Mysterium Mysterium to shreds. His oddly boyish singing is badly out of tune, and his lyrics are as trite, clichéd and naïve as they are sophomoric. Think of the corniest, most adolescent lyrics that plagued AM radio in the early to mid-'60s — people who wanted to be the Everly Brothers but didn't have a fraction of their talent — and you will have an idea what Driscoll's lyrics are like. Then there's the matter of the production; Mysterium Mysterium sounds like a poorly produced homemade demo. So why would anyone want to own a CD with so many "flaws?" Because the "flaws" aren't really flaws — they're effective tools in Driscoll's creative pop/rock arsenal. Again, the whole thing is obviously meant to parody of the bad side of '60s AM pop, which Driscoll is mocking; his out-of-tune vocals and innocent lyrics are delivered in a very ironic way. And if his goal was to provide an album that is so bad that it's good, he's succeeded. One doesn't necessarily need to hear five or six more albums from Driscoll — after a few tracks, listeners get the joke. But Driscoll is entertaining — for a while, anyway — and students of pop culture should get a good laugh out of this amusing novelty item.

Customer Reviews

Pure Pop genius

Dennis Driscoll does it again with another album of charisma-soaked indiepop hits. This dapper fellow writes pop songs so sugary sweet and so instantly hummable that they'll lodge in your brain for days. And you won't even mind because these songs have a tenderness and a pure sincerity that catapult them past novelty to the realm of the truly touching. What is not to love?

tab for everyone

dennis has an easy time tracing a humming melody and a nice habit of finding good scenes to illustrate while he sings. you will hear his songs and think, 'yes, there is a lot to be and a lot to see! horse.' almost every song i have ever heard by dennis has made me think to myself, 'i agree that i am having this experience.' that is to say, they are good. q. e. d., i enjoy mysterium mysterium.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Northwest singer/songwriter Dennis Driscoll combines the past -- the plain-spoken earthiness of Woody Guthrie, the innocent exuberance of Buddy Holly -- with the present -- the confessional intimacy of Cat Power, the quirky complexity of Neutral Milk Hotel -- to create a whimsical brand of folk-pop that transcends easy labels and categorizations. Driscoll, who was born in the late 1970s, grew up in the in the scenic coastal towns of Ilwaco, WA and Astoria, OR, where he began singing and playing his...
Full Bio
Mysterium Mysterium, Dennis Driscoll
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