Y e e e H a a a w !
Gary Peterson | San Diego, California USA | 08/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can vaguely remember hearing "Cotton-Eye Joe" by Rednex on the radio but I can't remember when or where. I probably wasn't listening very closely because I don't particularly care for most country music. Then recently, I heard it on my XM car radio on a 90s channel. This time it really caught my attention because I was interested in electronica and recognized immediately that "Cotton-Eye Joe" was country music done up in a techno fashion. Country techno? I just had to explore further! With a quick check, I found out that Rednex was the brainchild of a group of Swedish producers who mixed the traditional "Cotton-Eyed Joe" song into a Eurodance format and came up with a worldwide smash hit. This led to a plethora of other "Country House" songs and touched off a mid-90s fad which lasted a few years and still lingers. What will the Swedes come up with next? Their ability to manufacture American-style music is astounding!
Many of those recordings are still available. I purchased the "Sex and Violins," of which several different printings were available. My choice was this one with the most recent release date (2007). The other was released in 1995, shortly after the initial hit. It's a good album, without question. Stomp yer foot! Do si do! Yeee Haaaw! Man, that's Country! The music is supplied by banjo, violins, guitar, slide guitar, bass, drums and a host of electronic keyboard things. The vocalists might be Swedish, but they've got their country accents and country twang down pat. It's an enjoyable mix. Added are a few sound effects such as horse whinneys, a whip, roosters, a cow moo and gunshots. It almost seems as if you're watching Hee Haw. Fortunately, they didn't include any corn-pone Hee Haw humor. The lyrics to the songs are quite funny, I might add. The sound effects amuse me, at first, but I think all could be deleted without harming the music in any way. The cover art is a bit gross, but it all works together.
"Sex and Violins" is enjoyable music. Upbeat. Fun. It brings a smile to my face every time I play it. Let's face it, a lot of traditional country music is party music and this stuff is outstanding party music. If the present American Country Music Industry was offering stuff like this, then I'd be listening to a lot more country music.
"Cotton-eye Joe" is the best song on the recording. Second best is "Old Pop in and Oak." Honorable mention goes to all the others. There's just not a bad song on the album. Personally, I prefer the more upbeat, more dancehall numbers, but even the ballads, such as "Wish You Were Here," "Nowhere in Idaho," "McKenzie Brothers," and "Rolling Home," are excellent. This is fun music! Yeee Haaaw!