LMFAO Sorry for Party Rocking(Interscope) Buy it from Insound
Los Angeles-based duo LMFAO first introduced the world to their brand of club-pop with the 2008 EP Party Rock. Consisting of DJ/Rapper/Producers Redfoo and SkyBlu, the group’s familial ties (as uncle and nephew, respectively) are rooted in their common relation (as son and grandson) to Berry Gordy, Jr., founder of Motown Records. The Party Rock EP was expanded to an LP of the same name in 2009, which received mixed reviews praising its feel-good frivolity and panning its distinguishable motivation: profit, not passion. “Party Rock” isn’t music that happens to be conducive to clubbing, it’s a product made explicitly to cash in on it. In that sense, it’s no different than Bacardi, glow-sticks, and perilously short miniskirts.
Listening to the band’s new album, Sorry for Party Rocking, does nothing but reaffirm those points. The bigger problem, though, is that this latest offering shifts what was a tenable (if unremarkable) balance into decidedly negative territory.
The most conspicuous indicator of this trend is the album’s production. If it was, or already is, popular, LMFAO will give it a go. The vocals on All Night Long, for example, are awash in Auto-Tune, and the majority of tracks rely upon it to a debilitating degree. Cher scored innovative points for busting it out on Believe, but that was 1998. T-Pain gets some kudos as well for sparking its proliferation in the mid-2000s, but its resurgence has already infiltrated the industry to such a nauseating extent that Jay-Z released D.O.A (Death of Autotune) as a single in 2009, Time declared it one of their “50 Worst Inventions” in 2010, and Wikipedia’s article on the proprietary vocoder suggests that visitors “See Also: Overproduction.” Album opener Rock the Beat II even devolves into diddling dubstep. No, LMFAO, not even in jest. The whole album has been spit-shined to the point that it should be sold with tweezers for hygienic handling, and a health advisory should be prominently displayed next to its Parental counterpart.
Further magnifying its case for caution are the lyrics, which prompt a frenetic search for the nearest hazmat suit. “I’m gonna get you wet,” SkyBlu croons (through a vocoder, I might add) on Champagne Showers, “I’m gonna make you sweat…a night you won’t forget.” As a veteran party rocker, SkyBlu should know that one, if simply out of common courtesy, offers a drink before making such assertions. Elsewhere, he boasts that he’s “running through these hos like Drano,” which elicits all sorts of cringe-worthy implications and makes this reviewer wonder if the same chemical could be used to unclog his neural pathways. When the lyrics aren’t sexual, they’re stupid. On Hot Dog, a bonus track from the unintentionally-ironic “Deluxe” album, he spends 2:27 telling the world that if his late night drunk dog isn’t bacon-wrapped, well, by golly, he won’t pay for it. Without major label backing, LMFAO would undoubtedly be forced to take their own advice and Put that A$$ to Work in a 9 to 5.
The album does have one redeeming aspect preventing its plunge into epic echelons of suck, and that’s lead single Party Rock Anthem. Lyrics aside, this song is proof of concept for their brand, proof that it can be just as infectious and blissfully brainless as the post-apartyrockalyptic zombies in the Thriller-inspired music video (which still manages to squeeze in some product placement for Dr. Dre's Beats earbuds). The samples are tight, the pulsing synth right on time, and the flow isn’t stemmed by Auto-Tune. In fact, the beats throughout the album are serviceable and may even spawn some enjoyable remixes (One Day comes to mind here). Still, situations like this are the reason iTunes offers singles purchases.
Sorry for Party Rocking incorporates what industry boardrooms deem marketable and manufactures it for the masses, but at least they got the anthem right. Without it, I doubt if even God himself would grant the forgiveness half-heartedly sought in its begrudging title.22 June, 2011 - 13:33 — Benjamin Jones