Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Central to the album are tracks like "Beautiful" and "Missing," each bristling with redemptive lyrical and vocal power, Dug near evangelical above his chosen eccentric palette, one of abrasive textures and sublime melodies... more »
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Central to the album are tracks like "Beautiful" and "Missing," each bristling with redemptive lyrical and vocal power, Dug near evangelical above his chosen eccentric palette, one of abrasive textures and sublime melodies that emanate truths rather than delivering them primary-colored and sharp-angled. Says Dug: ""Beautiful" is one of my favorites: ?Don't forget you?re beautiful.' Everything I sing about, even if I?m telling somebody something about themselves, I'm actually talking to myself, about something that I've been through. So I just go ?you,? instead of ?me? (laughs). There were many times I just never felt like I was any good, and a lot of us feel that way. So I just figured, hey, ?Don't forget you?re beautiful.? That's a good line. And I've seen people cry, listening to that song. And "Missing;" musically it just slams; just from the beginning, even before I put the lyrics on it, it's like, this song is going to work. It was just special for me. It has some kind of vibe that I wasn't used to, a whole new slant with respect to what I do."Lightening up from the dirty strip-mining of the record?s guttural tone is a little ditty called "Equal Rights." The song is pret? near a bit of a revival hoe-down, and might be a surefire hit, in a different time, space and dimension."Yeah, that was fun," laughs Dug. "There was an old Larry Graham/Grand Central Station song, and Sly And The Family Stone used to do the sang type of thing. They used to sit around and do these harmonies, this black gospel kind of thing, and I grew up in that situation, so I put that together with the slide guitar. I picked up slide years and years ago, but never played it. On this record I play slide all over the place. So I sat down and started strumming a guitar, and I thought, you know, maybe I'll write some kind of old gospel-type song. ?Equal rights for everyone,? yeah!
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C. Karam | Lexington, Kentucky United States | 08/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I made sure I listened to this cd a few more times before I wrote my review...'cause I was pretty sure what I initially thought about this record would not last. Doug Pinnick is far and away my favorite musician. And having listened to him for oh so many years now....I've learned that so often his and King's X's material just keeps growing on me the more I listen to it. Such is the case with Emotional Animal. Pinnick's lyrics are always very personal and equally thoughtful. If you were to go through the entire King's X catalog(along with Poundhound), you can hear it all unfold like his autobiography, early on with his beliefs in religion and eventually evolving into belief in himself. Emotional Animal is the latest chapter and is in fact one his best efforts. My only reason for not giving it five stars is simply because there is one or two songs that didn't do much for me and quite franky, I think he missed greatness on a couple of others by stopping too soon. "Wrong" is a one minute a capella melody that is so rich and so good. Could have been the best song on the cd. But it's over before you can say "Great song!". "Mr. Hateyourself" is also a nice groove that ends way too soon. Other than that, just a great, great record. "Beautiful" is the one I can't stop singing. Other highlights are "Crashing", "Change", "Missing", and the atmospheric "Noon". Also check out "Haven't Been Here Before", which aside from "Beautiful", would be my second favorite. There are also two bonus songs found when played on your computer, "Saturdays" and "Die". "Saturdays" is fantastic. It's a shame this record will undoubtedly not be heard by the masses. It deserves to be."
I wish I could say otherwise...
Jonathan D. Worth | Jacksonville, FL USA | 03/24/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'll probably invoke the ire of many a diehard fan here, but I have to say that I was disappointed in this album. For one thing, what happened to Doug's voice? I know he's older and his voice is deeper now, but that can't be it. Just listen to this album back-to-back with King's X's latest, Ogre Tones. I know that stylistically the music is different but there's a huge difference in the quality of his singing.
Some of this may be due to the fact that they used an outside producer on Ogre Tones. Self-production can be liberating, but also present other problems. For one thing, this CD suffers from volume creep (AKA "fader creep"), which is an increasingly common problem in today's music world. It was simply recorded *way* too loud and as a result, listenability suffers.
On to the songs. The album started really well; I like the first five songs but after that I lose interest. I like Doug's idea of playing leads on slide guitar, which really worked on several songs, but I think doing so exclusively throughout the album worked against him because, frankly, he just doesn't have the chops to pull it off consistently, without repetitiveness, over a whole album.
I know I sound really down on Doug Pinnick, but here's a fact: I love the vast majority of the music he's created over the years. He's very, very talented. At the same time, he's entitled to a "less-than-stellar" solo album once in awhile. So if you're new to Doug's solo/Poundhound work, start with Poundhound's Massive Grooves or Pineappleskunk. Two and a half stars."
Poundhound is gone, long live dUg Pinnick
Murat Batmaz | Istanbul, Turkey | 10/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any King's X fan knows that the two albums Doug Pinnick released under the Poundhound moniker were nothing but absolute solo discs that allowed him to explore different aspects of songwriting and offer his great legion of fans a more personal side of his music. Emotional Animal is still a solo album; it just got released under Pinnick's own name (except that he likes to spell his name as dUg rather than Doug) and he is still the man responsible for everything on it. As with the two Poundhound discs, he has written all lyrics and music, played all instruments with the exception of drums, and even recorded and mixed the album on his own. Before going into the details, I have to point out that the production on Emotional Animal is incredibly tight, with great sonic quality and sound separation. You'll hear various elements popping out from all different angles at various times with great dynamics. It's really awesome.
On Emotional Animal, Doug Pinnick continues to use his solo albums as a medium to push his music into unexplored directions. Although the album does share some common themes with the Poundhound records, this one is less groovy and more experimental. The songs are forthright and do not emphasize Pinnick's amazing multi-vocal harmonies heard on King's X stuff. On the contrary, Pinnick opts for a more profound musical statement by disregarding standard songwriting formulas, and forming a solid hybrid of rock, funk, grunge, alternative and pop. His voice is still among rock's most soulful ever and his lyrics are extremely personal. Best seen on the moving ballad "Beautiful", Pinnick actually sings it to himself by just creating an imaginery 'you' person, and the chorus that goes, "Don't forget that you're beautiful just the way you are" is simply haunting, given the way it is worked into the song thanks to a groovy bass bottom. Likewise, the somewhat tongue-in-cheek commentary on "Equal Rights" is actually a very sincere statement, and it is only strengthened by his classic rock signature and gospel-like vocal delivery. He even plays slide guitar on this piece that is nothing short of impressive. As a matter fact, this album is unafraid to borrow a multitude of non-rock instruments. I hear weird percussion work on "Noon", one of the darkest and creepiest songs Pinnick has written that delivers blues guitar licks and blends them with a grungy vocal style. As usual, Pinnick has a knack for melodies and this song is stamped with a very memorable melody through its 5-minute running time.
While the first half of the album contains more straightforward rock numbers punctuated by grinding groove and hard-hitting bass tones, the second half is more varied and experimental. The dirty rock'n roll on "Zepp" morphs into an unexpected trance of psychedelia halfway through, only to feature a long drum solo played by Joy Gaskill. Yes, Joy is King's X drummer Jerry Gaskill's son, and he is an amazing drummer. His style is diverse and rhythm-friendly. However, as on "Zepp", he will also cut loose from time to time. "Freak the Funk Out" is a heavily experimental song that has tribal rhythm anchor, strange voice-overs, mouth trumpet (believe it or not but it really sounds like a trumpet except that it's actually a human being producing it) and some guest back-up vocals from Kelly Watson. The song moves from genre to genre with the blink of an eye; one moment it's a crazy jazz number and then a soundtrack for a cult movie. "Are You Gonna Come" is no different stylistically. However this song has a more defined purpose to it in that it features a lot of interesting guitar work, with unconventional tunings, and a stretched improvised instrumental section that allows Joy Gaskill to once again impress us with his great drum fills.
It is a good thing that Doug Pinnick puts out solo releases in order to push the limits of his own voice and instrumental abilities. Some of the material on this disc would seem terribly out of place on, say, the latest King's X album Ogre Tones, and vice versa. So long as he has the time for both projects, King's X and Pinnick fans are in for a treat. It is worth mentioning that Emotional Animal comes with a nice CD-Rom section plus bonus demos."