Confessions of a Dangerous Singer
Reviewed by Mr. Stinkhead
I am infatuated with Chuck Barris.
I love everything he stands for. I wrote about it in this article... In Defense of Chuck Barris.
Mr. Barris, creator of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, and later The Gong Show which he inturn hosted, is the subject of the recent film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which is based on his book of the same title.
On this 16 track CD, Chucky-baby is backed by The Hollywood Cowboys while singing beloved (perhaps to him) oldies. Everything from You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You and Mr. Sandman, to the classic Barris himself wrote, Palisades Park.
It sounds like Chuck is having a great time, belting out each track with the same energy and winking nod as he did almost thirty years ago on da Gong. You can actually hear him looking away from you with those squinty eyes.
That said, it's clear that Mr. Barris is not a classically trained crooner. He's not an anything-trained crooner. He's a few notches above your slightly toasted karaoke victim. Any of these acts would clearly have been gonged on his own show. He's not part Sinatra, part Willie Nelson... he's 100% Barris. (Which incidentally is part Shatner, part Lisa Marie Presley.)
What makes this album a near perfect bachelor pad staple? It's swingin' and fun; it's light-hearted, and its' a joke. Gimmick albums were what made bachelor pad music effective. I'm not saying Chuck is the next Esquivel!, but he understands fully what he's crafting. He's playing around, producing something fun and enjoyable. It's unique. Back in the golden age of swingin' singles, and oft-used pick-up line was "Want to come back and check out my hi-fi?" A bachelor wasn't worth his tiger-skin rug unless he had an odd, yet intriguing LP collection to justify the insane amount he spent on hi-fi equipment. You have to have something your target chicky has not heard, and these days, with internet file-swapping, that's getting tougher.
What keeps Confessions from being a perfect five? You're not going to keep a lady in the mood if you play her the entire disc. I love this album and it's now a permanent part of my work soundtrack, however I'd be waxing the gong mallet a lot if I tried to get my girlfriend turned on with this in the background.
My final word is that this album is perfect party fodder, the novelty itself may even get a girl to your pad, but keep it light, don't ruin the flavor in one sitting.
You can listen to samples online and pick up this album straight from Domo Records' website, click here.
Read my article about Chuck Barris, in defense of his art.
Read our review of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the book.
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