CD Review: Ween

La Cucaracha Rounder
Music •••• Sound ••••

Long before the iPod shuffle, Dean and Gene Ween concocted albums that played like eclectic mix-tapes, juxtaposing genres at will. La Cucaracha, the duo's first studio set in 4 years, proves that they're still the finest all-purpose band available. Whether it's electro-pop ("Friends"), R&B ("Object"), reggae ("The Fruit Man"), mariachi pop ("Fiesta"), thigh-slapping country ("Learnin' to Love"), '70s AM pop ("Spirit Walker"), or '70s FM soul ("Your Party"), Ween recreates the vibe flawlessly. The band obviously loves to parody and throw quirky lyrical twists into the gumbo, yet that's never at the expense of the sound or the music. These aren't amateurs paying homage to their heroes, but seasoned professionals with an impeccable ear for detail. They recorded the album to 2-inch 24-track tape in an old farmhouse in their hometown. And they imported David Sanborn to provide the sax break for "Your Party." Anything less would be compromise, which is one thing these boys don't do.

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