CD Review: Eban Schletter – “The 21st Century Doomsday Spectacular”

Eban Schletter

The 21st Century Doomsday Spectacular

By Brian Arsenault 

We don’t find out much about the doomsday coming in 2012 until the last track and it turns out to be nuclear holocaust.  How 1950s of Eban Schletter and The 21st Century Doomsday Spectacular.

I for one was rather disappointed, as I was thinking the doomsday might involve some Aztec in a funny mask decapitating all of us and bouncing our heads down a stairway. (With apologies to Mel Gibson.)

Eban Schletter

We do get a litany of all the current liberal causes early on, though. Global warming, oil spills, gay rights, legalization of marijuana, consumerism run amok, AIDS. Some conservatives might pray for doomsday at this rate.

I know it’s hard to be funny on an album if you’re not Richard Pryor or old Cheech and Chong playing in a smoke filled room, but a lot of this album only manages the level of Sophomore(ic) drunk dorm humor. I can just see the  jokes getting worse as the keg gets emptier.

The humor and the music get better toward the middle, however:

- “Good Morning World” is a fun little ditty about avoiding the world’s demands. Irony even.

- “I Don’t Know Why” has some things to say about a world where “the wrong things matter.”

- “Man of the Decade” has a nice self deprecating beginning before rolling on into the badness of billionaires and their “thug” cops beating up protesters.  Maybe the Obama team can use it in their campaign. The President would like the title.

- Perhaps the album’s best moment comes on “My Ukelele” when the Marine gun pledge is applied to that humblest of stringed instruments. Schletter plays the uke beautifully on the next tune about lead poisons on kid toys. Gee, I forgot that in my list of in vogue causes at the beginning. (Can somebody tell me why kids being hungry doesn’t get more attention than any of the big causes of the day?)

- “My Opinion” also stands out as an anthem for our times when yelling has become the commonplace dialogue on TV.  Well, ratings are everything.

Schletter also hasn’t kept up with the times: His second track has movies being watched on contact lenses, university degrees from cell phones, and everyone having their own TV show “In The Future.” Catch up, Eban.

To read more reviews and posts by Brian Arsenault click HERE

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“November and Other Tales”

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Brian Arsenault’s November and Other Tales is a collection of short stories exploring the way cold comes by degrees in winter and in the human heart.  To check it out, click HERE.

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