Ween

La Cucaracha
(Rounder)

On La Cucaracha, Ween continues its tradition of delivering polymorphous albums full of brilliant, warped pop songs graced with lyrics that range from the nonsensical to the silly to the outright offensive. Sliding effortlessly among styles, genres, and sounds, the album finds the Brothers Ween making odd juxtapositions and placing their bizarre stamp on everything. La Cucaracha takes shots at AOR, light rock, prog, dubbed-out reggae, grungy garage blues, Lennon-esque piano ballads, and more. The soulful pop of "Sweetheart," the improbably catchy 10-minute prog freakout "Woman and Man," and the jaunty "Shamemaker" are all top-notch, as is the record's high-note closer, "Your Party," an answer/thank-you note to all those debauched, rock-star party odes of the '70s. Although more than a few tracks feel gimmicky and disposable — such as the opener, "Fiesta," an instrumental that sounds like a coked-up Herb Alpert taking on a game-show theme — they're not enough to derail a fine album.

 
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