Princess - Princess (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Princess (2005)


This might as well be ten different albums in one. This album is literally so all over the place that it's hard to believe the duo of Alexis Gideon and Michael O'Neill are truly responsible for it all. Bleeps and glitches, loops, thick rap beats, electric and acoustic guitar, there's so much variety compounded into just ten songs, that it's truly interesting.

Interesting might not always be a positive connotation, though. As out of the box as the album is, some of the elements that it mixes together are too harsh, and contrast too much to really be all that enjoyable. The kick drum that opens "Autograph" does not stop for the entire length of the song, becoming repetitive before O'Neill and Gideon can spit their awkward "raps" on top of it all. Sounding like something off a Bloudhound Gang album, the nonsensical verses are only part of the reason that this album is difficult to take in. They essentially rhyme for the sake of it, dredging up an amalgamation of obscure references that's too difficult to even attempt and decipher. The following track, "Miss Adventures," follows a similar vein for half the song's length, until the slow, squalling guitars and feedback combine with the drum machine to create just a mess of sounds.

"Springsteen" goes a bit of a different direction, with 50 seconds of acoustic country twang, minus the vocals, and "Dylan" is even further out there, with its tinny sound and extremely minimal instrumentation. What is there sounds like nothing more than a harp being delicately strummed for most of the song's duration.

Things don't get any less weird as the album progresses, as the duo just can't seem to find a niche, and maybe that's not even what they wanted in the first place. Maybe they wanted to just throw as a many styles and elements into one album as they possibly could, and in the process, make "noise" in the truest sense of the word. The only track that could be considered "normal" is "Dusty," a low-key acoustic track with sporadic blips and loops thrown in, but they're not present enough to detract from the song as is. They close the album with the ten-minute "Promised Land," which is in effect the biggest mishmash of styles I think has ever been put in a single song. Starting with some barbershop quartet melodies, the jangly acoustic work is soon to follow, but not before transitioning into some blips and beeps mixed with the sounds of a flute and a tuba. Not ready to outdo themselves with weirdness, they combine their rapping with some squalling guitars and intense feedback, until finally ending amidst some banjo strumming and loops.

That's about as freeform as music can even allow and still be called music, but the album as a whole is so hit and miss that it's really not worth listening to all at once, or hell, at all. You're going to have to make your own call on this, but I can tell you now, the majority are going to find nothing of worth.