Tenacious D - Rize Of The Fenix - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tenacious D - Rize Of The Fenix

by Miz DeShannon Rating:3 Release Date:2012-05-14

The Tenacious D thing has never really enamoured me, but listening to this album I thought all was about to change. It still poses this question, however: Has Jack Black actually turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy and become the idiot portrayed by Tenacious D, or has he ALWAYS been Tenacious D and this is just an outlet for that? Like Jim Carey's films blatantly being all his suppressed, irritating personality traits... if you know what I mean.

Either way, musically, this is much the same as listening to an AC/DC album. It's all yodelling and riffing and drum rolls, with a handful of acoustic strumming ballads thrown in ('Roadie' being the best), just like the perfect 80s rock album. Vocally, Black sounds much like any other slightly paradoxical hair-rock singer and, alongside Kyle Gass, he's definitely supplying what it says on the tin - comedy rock. There are maybe a few too many random bits of swearing and halfway through. I'm still not entirely sure whether this is a good album or not.

Rant-only racks like 'Classical Teacher' and 'Flutes and Trombones' are slightly annoying, and again, make you feel as though this is just a projection of Black's personality, as though the listener is supposed to sit in folds of laughter at how amazing he is. 'Senorita' is like the theme tune to a spoof spaghetti western, full off scripted speeches. Sadly this album definitely gets more irritating as it goes on. All the classic signs of hair-rock, rock-opera and some power-metal are there: the operatic, theatrical voice, the over-blown prancing in videos, and the drum rolls and riffs, but at 13 tracks - unlucky for some - it's too much to listen to.

'Rize of the Fenix' has been slated by many music journos for being full of worn-out satire and out-dated puns, although musically it does sound good. Fine plan by Black to use such good musicians then. Having Dave Grohl on drums gives tracks like 'Low Hangin Fruit' and 'Throwdown' a blatant Foo Fighters/QOTSA feel. There isn't anything wrong with the writing on this album, and the musucianship is first class, but by the time you've gone through the album to track ten, 'Rock is Dead', I'm sure anyone in their right mind would gladly throttle Black. Sadly unable to do so and for the purposes of amateur journalism, I had to persevere.

'To Be the Best' sounds like it should be on a Rocky film, probably Rocky 15 when the whole thing has become as irritating as this album is. Ending with '39', at more than five minutes, my patience had finally worn thin and my brain melted under the pressure of listening to Black's curdling and gurgling voice. Forget the music, he sounds ridiculous. At first I thought this would be passable as a hair-rock-like KISS-come-Van-Halen type album, but no. Deleted from iTunes. No more comedy rock, thank you please.

3/10 (and that's for Dave Grohl's drumming)

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