Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 23, 1998)
“Hard to Swallow”
Yo Vanilla, DON’T kick it one time
Yep, he did it He’s actually back.
That funky white boy who amazed
America with his stirring tales from the
streets of Miami is back in full effect
well, minus the hair and those obnox
He’s back with 13 tracks of his
hardest and heaviest work yet, not that
that is saying much. Basically, the
Iceman is “tough” now and has, accord
ing to all the press, invented this new
sound that’s “not rock and roll, it’s not
heavy metal, it’s not hip-hop.” What is
Crap. • -
Imagine some of Korn or the
Deftones’ most mundane songs, layer
Vanilla’s lyrical gibberish over it, and
you have Vanilla Ice’s new album, aptly
titled “Hard to Swallow.” The entire
album is a joke and will spur more guf
faws than Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy
From beginning to end, it’s a lesson
in mainstream mediocrity, and the sad
thing is that it will probably be a hit in a
week, and you won’t be able to drive
past a car wash on O Street without
hearing die Iceman bumping away.
I Of course that scenario could be,
quite wrong. According to the firl^
song, “Lrring;”-on “Hardto SuaUoa^ j
the Iceman lets everyone know that
“Sucka’s keep sinking in my quick
He follows that cheesy, bassed-out
Korn rip-off with an account of his
messed-up childhood called “Scars,” in
which he laments his fatherless
upbringing and how he’s going to be
true to his family. He’s a tough family
man rapper guy now, and that isn’t
more apparent than in the song “F—
The song is very slow and moody
with - Iptfe just spy - less thp original
dig[it^t eljfects. It has, of^ourse, the
everpresent heavy^stosied bass line
with-a slow and sparse shallow snare
It’s riddled with obviously placed
crescendos and is ultimately very typi
cal. The song gets pretty funny when
this guy’s voice comes through saying
“F— Vanilla Ice! He sucks, he eats
shit!” and what does the Iceman say, “I
hope you got more shit than that, you
weak muthaf—r.” The song ends with
people yelling a bunch of cuss words.
One thing we can all be thankful for
is that the family man hasn’t lost his
street roots or mainstream savvy. He
has included a marijuana song, “Zig
Zag Stories,” that lets everyone know
how much dope the Iceman can toke.
Apparently he’s got a “lifetime supply,
and (he) wants to get you high.”
He basically just retells the story
you heard a thousand times when you
lived in the dorms. The one where the
dude, in this case Vanilla Ice, has just
put down a 6-pack and a fat joint and
this girl tries to get up in the Iceman’s,
business. The Iceman was down dude.
The song ends with a tripped out mon
tage of coughing. Apparently the
Iceman can’t handle it
The rhinestone gem of this album is
a remake ofVanilla’s hit “Ice, Ice Baby,”
only this one is called “Too Cold.”
Maybe ‘Too Old” would’ve been more
fitting. It’s full of spotty thick and heavy
death-rock riffs ami digital noises with
the same words rapped over the new
sounds. If anything less than the best is
a felony, you’d better lock this guy up.
He should get the chair for this crap.
In the beginning, this album was
pretty funny. Who couldn’t find the
comedy in a song called “Prozac”
where the chorus sings “We gets crazy
like Prozac, hypin’ up to start a party,
and nearly has a heart attack.” But by
the end it’s just annoying and sickening.
The same lame elements litter every
song, and his rapping style is just the
same rhyme scheme through and
I hate to say it, but I’d rather listen to
Word to your mother.
“Prolonging the Magic”
After buying Cake’s last release,
“Fashion Nugget,” for that punchy song
“The Distance,” listening to tire rest of
the album was a pleasant surprise
because of its consistent flow from start
to finish. So when Capricorn sent out
an advance copy of the Los Angeles
based pop-rocker’s third full-length
album, “Prolonging the Magic,” a
monthago, it immediately went into the
stereo atanaximum volume with great
Unfortunately, “Prolonging the
\ ... .-.^Vi^rajaarajJMfllhML mlUiuMyi
Vanilla Ice Photo Courtesy of Republic Records
Magic” is a disappointing step in a
direction Cake has already attempted,
and it suffers from the absence of a
catchy single such as “The Distance”
for the masses to latch onto.
Some of the guitar riffs and instru
mentation from die new album sound
mysteriously lifted from songs off of
“Fashion Nugget,” so much, in fact, that
at times you forget which album you
are listening to. It seems as if Cake tried
to clone the sound that made them pop
ular and hoped no one would notice.
The band does rock out on a few
numbers, most notably “Never There”
and “Hem OfYour Garment,” but lead
singer John McCrea loses the vibe with
his simplistic lyrical content and
monotone vocals,, which are usually
spoken instead of sung.
Doesn’t this guy have anything else
to write about than cars and his broken
Cake has tried to locate its rock
identity by incorporating a trumpet and
organs into its repertoire, but country
twang muted with these elements on
“Walk On By” and “Mexico” just
It seems like Me Creawas listening
to some old Camper Van Beethoven
records while recording “Prolonging
the Magic,” because he sounds suspi
ciously like David Lowery of Cracker
on “Mexico” and a few of the other
Cake displays it is still capable of
being a good band with “Prolonging
die Magic,” but the album falls short of
going die distance.
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