Huckapoo is an album by a forgotten girl group from the 2000s, Huckapoo.
1. Crazy for the Boys Does the lead off slot mean the junior slut anthem Crazy is being positioned as the first single over Crash the Party? True, there's already a video for Crash, but the Huckstas have also recently put together a promotional live video for Crazy. Harmony has them both. 2. Fallen for You 3. Where You Belong Woah, what's this? WYB's familiar minimalist (lazy?) opening has been dressed up with strings and Joey's vocals are given an echo. Meanwhile, the beat has been upgraded and the accoustic guitar downplayed for a more dance-pop effect. Um, I'm assuming at this point that everyone here knows what the original versions sound like. I mean, why else would you be here? Not for all that sex slave crap. In case you need your memory jogged and your bootleg copy of the beta CD isn't handy, you can findmost of the songs, once again, at Harmony. 4. Supernatural No major changes. Why mess with perfection? At one point intended for Dream Street, this perfect pop song will inevitably be a hit for somebody, someday. Let's hope it's the Huckapoodles. 5. Wherever You Are The vocals have been re-recorded with a breathy insouciance that has the advantage of being maddeningly sexy while simultaneously disguising the singer's limitations. Hey, it worked for Brit-Brit. 6. Crash the Party 7. I Should Have Said I Love You 8. Hug Me and Kiss Me HM/KM has been given a punk makeover to excellent effect. It now opens with Twiggy shouting, "I hate you! You're such a liar!" which helpfully sets up the theme of the song for anyone who found the lyrics themselves too opaque. Better yet, the vocals have been re-recorded and a stuttering guitar part added to give the verses a rougher, more angry Avrilicious feel that heightens the contrast with the lovely, wistful chorus. There's also a swell call and response added in the last chorus. The only thing I don't quite get is the addition of what sounds like Beavis chanting "fire! fire! fire!" in the background at one point. 9. Perfectly Never content to rest on their laurels, the creatively-restless Huckapoo has taken the daring step of messing with their signature tune. The faux-Alanis a capella opener is gone, replaced by a melodic riff that could have come straight off of Revolver, complete with reverse-guitar effect. Ripping off the Beatles is always better than ripping off Alanis, so no complaints there, but the homage goes to far when the poppy chorus is swamped by fuzzed out guitars. When I interviewed Huckapuppetmaster Brian Lukow he was justly proud that his production put the girls' voices front and center. Burying them like this is a step backward, and undermines the girl power message of the song. 10. Picture Perfect Hey, the song has words! My earlier version, I now realize, was just the backup track and choruses. Turns out this song is about a girl who has this guy who's her best friend, and then she shows her friends a picture of her with him, and they're like, that's so romantic, and she's like, oh my god, all of this time I must have been blind not to see you and me we're picture perfect. So they have sex and he becomes a totally different person and starts acting like a dick and she realizes that she's lost the best friend she ever had just because her hormones were raging. Sorry, I added the second part to keep it interesting. But you know it's the truth. Also, PJ does a little rap in the middle, which is not bad if you think of it more as early Red Hot Chili Peppers than Jay-Z. 11. Somebody Sent Me an Angel You know what, I can't even pretend to like this song, sorry. 12. I've Got a Crush on You The Gershwin standard is a daring choice for a girl group, but the risk pays off handsomely. While Huckapoo doesn't swing it as hard as Sinatra or Ella... oh, wait. This is a totally different song isn't it? Anyway, this one has also been remixed to emphasize the Cars-inspired keyboards, but the real treat here is PJ's new vocals on the opening verse. Instead of aiming for technical proficiency, which is, um, not her strong suit, she now spits out her lines with a deliciously bratty whine that makes you want to bend her over your knee and spank her bare bottom. I mean, after December 5, 2008; I'm no pervert.
1. Huckapoo World Yes, the retardo theme song has been demoted to the bonus disc. Hard to believe, huh? 2. Girls Are Smarter A rewrite of the Harry Belafonte novelty hit Man Smart, Woman Smarter. Because the world was so begging for one. 3. Sooner or Later Most of the songs on this disc are designed to showcase the individual singers. This is PJ's rap song. It includes the immortal rhyme, "I just wanted to chill and watch One Tree Hill/And everything was copasetic until/I'm getting IM-ed, my cells going crazy/But I'm watching the Hill so I dont let it faze me." 4. A Girl Can Dream Groovy is the band's second-best singer. I have no idea why they punish her by making her sing all the crappy ballads. 5. Run Away Huh. This is a real gem. I have no idea why it was left off the first disc. This version is virtually identical to the one recorded by the previous failed pre-fab pop group Ruby Blue. Fun fact: RB's lead singer Alexis is now Huckapoo's vocal coach. Yes, Huckapoo has a vocal coach. Fuck you. 6. So Afraid 7. I Wish 8. Build Me Up Buttercup The girls pleaded with Lukow to let them do this song -- presumably they all know it from There's Something About Mary (I hope they were accompanied by a parent or guardian) -- and they were right. This slumber party rave up is even better than The Goops version (you know, the one everyone thinks is Save Ferris). Fun fact, via the blogger formerly known as popshots: If your theme song contains the line "you've got to sing your own melodies," why did you lift the melody from Build Me Up Buttercup? 9. Different Drum You were wondering who Huckapoo's best singer is right? Well, that would be Miss Angel Sparks. Given her talent and charisma (and, OK, hottness), Angel is the one who, if something goes terribly, terribly wrong and Huckapoo is a total flop, is most likely to make a name for herself solo. So you'll understand that I mean no disrespect by pointing out what's wrong with this rendition of the old Michael Nesmith chestnut. I ain't saying that Angel's version ain't pretty -- it's very that (though her vocals are somewhat beaten down by the heavy-handed production). But now listen to Linda Ronstadt back in '67 (Harmony has posted the original versions of Huckapoo's songs for your musical education) and right away you can hear that ineffible quality that Angel doesn't have, the pathos that transforms a good pop singer into a brilliant one. Ronstadt was only four years older than Angel is now, but that's a crucial four years. I hate to say it, but Angel -- or, rather, Brittney -- obviously needs to have her heart broken. 10. Do Wah Diddy Sure, why not? Goofy, but undeniably fun. It's hard to mess this one up. And that retro new wave sound is very popular with the kids these days. 11. Groovy Kind of Love On her namesake song, Groovy's sweet voice is once again slathered over with shmaltz. Really, this is one song that should never be sung earnestly. Confidential to Alexa: The Phil Collins version is not the original! What are you, 16 years old? (Yes, I know Linda Ronstadt wasn't the first to record Different Drum either, but that's forgivable). 12. And Then He Kissed Me Eleven years ago I saw a singer-songwriter's rountable performance at The Bottom Line with Lucinda Williams, Joe Ely, Roseanne Cash, and Mark Cohn. The first three were spontaneous and inventive, and in their comments and performances displayed an obvious joy in playing music. Cohn stuck to polished versions of his boring hits (Walking in Memphis, etc) which sounded flat and uninspired in comparison. At the end, the perfromers broke into a jam -- and Cohn floundered miserably. Cash actually had to show him the chord changes at one point. He seemed so uncomfortable, like he'd never played music outside of a studio before. It was possibly the worst live performance I've ever seen -- and I saw Cat Power at the Knitting Factory. Still, I don't think the guy deserved to get shot in the head. No performance is that bad. All of which is to say that I unreservedly take back my earlier comments about PJ Bardot's rendition of And Then He Kissed Me. It's not that bad. Also, I think her vocals have been sweetened. 13. When You Walk in the Room Speaking of shooting people, Lukow channels Phil Spector for this Wall of Sound production of the Jackie DeShannon classic. I like the way he harks back to the previous girl group golden age. It gives Huckapoo some sense of history. Hey, Brian: for the second album, can I put in a plug for Maybe I Know? [related posts] Posted by Daniel Radosh
Comments Hahaha oh God. I've heard all the songs except for 'Build Me Up Buttercup', 'And Then He Kissed Me' and 'Runaway'. So, they totally re-did 'Perfectly'? I've heard the new version of 'Hug Me And Kiss Me' and I like it a lot more than the previous, though I don't know what other people are going to think. I have to email you sometime soon, I have some questions. Do you want me to use the same email as before? I'll be emailing from my personal email address this time, firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and I know they aren't the originals. It's just the only version's I could find. =\ Posted by: Alexa | August 19, 2005 2:44 AM
to borrom *coughsteal* a word.... woe. Posted by: Jenn | August 19, 2005 2:57 AM
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