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CD REVIEW: Andy Sloan - Situation: Comedy
By JJ Biener - 10/20/2005 - 02:59 PM EDT

Artist: Andy Sloan
Album: Situation: Comedy
CD Review: The other day I went to my post office box hoping to find my first CD to review. There waiting for me was a package from Andy Sloan. I tore open the seal and…let’s just say I had some misgivings. Between the caricature of Andy on the cover and the title, “Situation: Comedy,” I had my doubts. As Edmund Kean said on his deathbed, “Dying is easy, comedy is difficult.” Successfully combining comedy with music borders on the impossible.

It was in this frame that I put Andy’s CD on for a first listen. Well, he blew me away. I was totally unprepared. The first song was “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Sexy,” a rap tune about being just too damn sexy. The beauty of this song is in its subtlety. He could have easily overplayed his hand and gone for the obvious jokes, but he didn’t. Instead he crafted a wonderfully satirical send up of rap music and middle class mores.

“Working Up a Sweat” takes aim at dance music and dance culture with similar results. Where most artists loathe to put themselves in a negative light, Andy embraces that light. He is unafraid to make himself the butt of the joke as in this case where he is an awkward dance-scene wannabe with overactive sweat glands. By doing so he squarely takes aim at those who place inordinate value on appearance and style.

Andy’s social commentary takes on many subjects that other artists would shy away from for fear of falling into cliché: cell phone obsession, Hummers, Internet dating, even divorce. Andy handles each one deftly, maybe too deftly. His satire can be biting at times. I found myself cringing in recognition at many of his all-too-accurate observations. The definition of a cynic is one who looks through rose-colored glasses with a jaundiced eye, and I think the same could be said of Andy. His humor is dark, wonderful and stingingly accurate. I applaud Andy for following his muse even when his muse wears blue jeans, a tube top and too much eye makeup.

There are only a couple of negatives about the CD that I feel worth mentioning. It is a demo and not a production CD. It is very well done, but a demo nonetheless. Then there are the vocals. His raps are fine, but his singing tends to be off key. At times it gets distracting. The last thing one wants when listening to such original and engaging songs is to be distracted by the performance.

Andy Sloan has a voice and a vision all his own and he presents them to us without apology.

PS “Real Deal” is an anti-“Gangsta” masterpiece.

You can contact Andy at andysloan@gmail.com.




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