That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

by Dump

CD

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Overview

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Shrimper has reissued James McNew's self-produced cassette tape of Prince covers and added five additional songs. Featuring a title gleamed from the Black Album track "Bob George" ("Who?/Prince?/Ain't that a bitch?/That skinny motherf*cker with the high voice?"), this album demonstrates McNew's creative and varied approach to both famous and lesser-known songs. "1999" features his understated vocals and Stereolab's Morgane Lhote on Farfisa, "When U Were Mine" features McNew's low-register vocals and his own glistening keyboards, "Pop Life" features him harmonizing off-key with his multi-tracked self, "Dirty Mind" features his ominously echoed vocals, and "The Beautiful Ones" features his attempt to emulate Prince's own vocal style, including a switch to falsetto. McNew tries to transform "Erotic City" into a swaggering indie rock number, but doesn't quite pull it off; his vocals don't quite mesh with the musical backing on "Girls + Boys" and his whispered, portentous interpretation of "A Love Bizarre" is interesting at first but lasts too long. He fares better with an acoustic performance of "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?" (originally the B-side of Prince's "1999") and a rendition of "An Honest Man" that is somewhat reminiscent of Neil Young and Lambchop. "Raspberry Beret" is propelled by handclaps and reverb-laden guitar to be one of the better tracks on the album; McNew even changes "She wasn't too bright" to "I think she knew that I wasn't too bright," although he keeps the most dubious part of the lyrics ("Built like she was/She had the nerve to ask me/If I planned to do her any harm"). The album's concluding track, "Another Lonely Christmas," provides further evidence that McNew is adept at finding the emotional core of Prince's songs; McNew isn't as good a performer as Prince, of course, but he does find ways to make listeners hear some of the news in new and compelling ways. So while this album isn't flawless, it is definitely more than just a recycling of someone else's songs.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/27/2001
Label: Shrimper Records
UPC: 0759718110623
catalogNumber: 106

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