Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Crash Test Dummies|
Give Yourself a Hand
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Those who know the Crash Test Dummies from their down-home 1994 chart hit "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" may find themselves humming "Hmm? Hmm? Hmm? Hmm?" this time out. The offbeat but ultimately agreeable Canadian outfit of the past ... more »
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Those who know the Crash Test Dummies from their down-home 1994 chart hit "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" may find themselves humming "Hmm? Hmm? Hmm? Hmm?" this time out. The offbeat but ultimately agreeable Canadian outfit of the past has transformed itself into a group of urban warriors this time out. Elements of electronica, funk, and soul work their way into an assortment of songs with sex on the brain. While baritone-voiced frontman Brad Roberts remains at the center of the sound, keyboardist Ellen Reid steps to the fore with "Just Chillin'" (she puts off a hustle with a curt "I only play myself"), "Get You in the Morning" ("I want it cheap / I want it now / I want it fast"), and "A Little Something" ("It was good on the car / You would go pretty far"--detecting a trend here?). From the oozy opener, "Keep a Lid on Things," through the piano-ballad closer, "Playing Dead" ("I know you hate my guts / I know the nasty things you say / About me to those sluts"), the group opts for the unexpected at every opportunity. The millions of fans who embraced God Shuffled His Feet but were standoffish toward the more daring A Worm's Life are going to have to make some more adjustments. Which begs the question: Was Give Yourself a Hand a smart move for Roberts and company? Maybe not, but hey, they're Dummies, right? --Steven Stolder
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dr__zaius | Seattle, WA USA | 08/28/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I suppose if 2 1/2 stars were "givable" I would give that. There appears to be a lot of back and forth argument between those who give 5 stars and those who give 1. My problem with it is not simply the drastic change in music style. This change should have been expected, since there is quite a difference between "The Ghosts that Haunt Me" and "A Worm's Life," for instance. "Give Yourself a Hand" bothered me because the lyrics have become less clever and funny. And why aren't the lyrics included with the CD? They always did that before, and reading through them was almost as much fun as listening to the CD itself. The sexual references were kind of a shock too. I mean, they've always been present in their music, but they used to be more subtle. I guess what summarizes my feelings about this album is that it makes me uncomfortable when I listen to it. I'm not saying the band should head back to their roots, necessarily. One of my favorite things about them is their ability to change. But please don't change everything. Hold on to the articulate and witty lyrics. CTD's progression seems to have gotten a little sidetracked"
Avoid this one if you are on a budget
Spock's brain | United States | 06/14/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This CD came with a warning label to the effect that this is not your usual CTD recording. What an understatement! Unlike A Worm's Life, which I came to like after a second listening, this recording contains only a few tracks that I can listen to in their entirety. If you like street-language rap, graceless sexual references, songs which rely on a heavy beat to mask their lack of musicality and message, and are prepared for CTD lyrics to deliver a numbing lack of profundity, this CD is you.P.S. I am sure the band had fun recording this one; it's just not much fun to listen to."
A real artistic achievement
Ellen J Mahurin | Knoxville, TN United States | 11/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone should give this album a serious listen. It reminds you that music is art, a product of creativity not marketing strategies. I was impressed with this album as the end point of much evolution in CTD. I didn't even recognize them upon listening to the first few tracks. I enjoyed the addition of new rhythms, sounds and, especially, of Ellen Reed's vocals to all the other good things CTD had going on. Also, my husband perceived the two vocalists as having a sort of conversation about their romantic relationship (which is in trouble). Listening to it that way gives me a whole new perspective."