Tenacious D

Tenacious D

4.9 23
by Tenacious D
     
 

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Spinal Tap showed the world rock perfection -- which was good. But, lo, it was presumed that no one picking up guitars in the wake of the Tap could ever approach "eleven" in quite the same way -- and that was bad. But, as it turns out, it wasn't true, as proven by the ascent of uproarious rockers Tenacious D. Jack Black (known to many forSee more details below

Overview

Spinal Tap showed the world rock perfection -- which was good. But, lo, it was presumed that no one picking up guitars in the wake of the Tap could ever approach "eleven" in quite the same way -- and that was bad. But, as it turns out, it wasn't true, as proven by the ascent of uproarious rockers Tenacious D. Jack Black (known to many for playing a gregarious record store clerk in High Fidelity) and Kyle Gass are not only monsters of metal, they're conduits of universal stoner poetry, the sort of bongwater-fueled musings one can only come to after years of carefully weeding out brain cells and adding riffs stolen from Rush, Sabbath, and the Naked Gun movie series. The "D," abetted by pals such as Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Phish's Page McConnell, crunch through all manner of lunkhead riffage, from the Southern-fried boogie of "The Road" to the prog-rock dopiness of "Rock Your Socks." Black and Gass have a clear vision of what matters in life, and address only the most important topics, from heavy metal gnomes ("Dio") to excellence in sausage-craft ("Kielbasa"). Unlike mere novelty acts, the "D" don't merely lampoon, they replicate with the sort of intricacy only true obsessives could muster -- check out the hair-metal ballad "Fuck Her Gently" and the rock-opera excerpt "Tribute." Tenacious D are a laugh a minute on all levels, but to get the most mileage out of the disc, slip a track at a time to unsuspecting listeners, sit back, and watch the confusion set in.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As anyone who witnessed their legendary shorts on HBO will attest, Tenacious D is indeed the greatest band on earth. Bad D is still better than the Beatles and good D is transcendent. Even so, Tenacious D's debut album will likely kick fans on their asses because the D is no longer just about JB and KG. They're even ready to be more than a power trio -- they're ready to be backed by a full band, complete with Dave Grohl on drums and the Dust Brothers behind the boards. After years of hearing them as an acoustic heavy metal duo, that's a real shock, but they've also overhauled their repertoire, reworking and retitling several songs and leaving many tunes behind. Most regrettably, there is no "History of Tenacious D," even if it is quoted in the liner notes, but there's also no "Rocketsauce," no "Kyle Took a Bullet for Me," no "Sasquatch," no "Cosmic Shame," no "Special Things," and no "Jesus Ranch." "You Broke the Rules" becomes "Karate," "Song of Exultant Joy" is "Kyle Quit the Band," "Sex Supreme" becomes "Double Team," "The Best Song in the World" becomes "Tribute," lacking many of the "Stairway to Heaven" allusions in this version, and so on and so forth (elements of their opening theme are incorporated into "Kielbasa," thankfully). Furthermore, the dynamic has shifted drastically because the group no longer sounds like maniacal misfits who've conquered the worlds in their own minds playing to an audience who just hasn't caught up yet. Here, they sound like victors who've had their delusions of grandeur come real (which is true when you think about it -- those shorts might not have done much on HBO, but videotapes passed through a lot of hands on the underground video railroad). This is a bigger change than you might think, and while the acoustic D sounds better, weirder, and purer, this still is a hell of a record, particularly because it rocks so damn hard. The worst thing about it are the sketches, which may be funny, but not nearly as funny as the plots that tied the shows together (nothing as funny as asides from the show, like "circle church," either) or the live routines; they tend to distract from the music. And the music is indeed what matters, since no matter how silly and gleefully profane this can be, Tenacious D rules because the music is terrific. The tunes have hooks, Kage and Jables harmonize well, and the cheerfully demented worldview is intoxicating, since their self-belief and self-referential world is delightfully absurd and warm (think about it -- the sex songs may be vulgar and may be about their prowess, but their prowess is about making those backstage Betties feel good). Sure, some listeners may chuckle because this all comes from two large, cute, 30-something slackers, but they're missing the inspirado behind this record -- Tenacious D certainly know they're funny, but that doesn't erase the fact that they rock so hard. They came to kick your ass and rock your socks off, and that is a very special thing.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
[three and a half stars]... The D's long-awaited debut album is an angel-dustrial bong-water brew of Styx, Rush and Triumph, with a dollop of Journey, a soupcon of Kansas, loads of Zep and Sabbath, a pinch of Black Oak Arkansas, maybe a dash of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Not since Bob and Doug McKenzie have two jokers nailed the clod-metal aesthetic so accurately: Nearly every lyric here comes straight from your high school's bathroom wall.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2001
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998521025
catalogNumber:
86234

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