The Chubbies

I'm the King

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Although the Chubbies did, at least for a while, eventually form a normal lineup, their debut album was a one-woman bedroom project by singer/songwriter Jeannette Kantzalis. Kantzalis, a gifted songwriter and a talented multi-instrumentalist, does a better than average job of varying the sound and subject matter enough to give the album some changeups. Actually, the subject matter doesn't change that much: I'm the King is sex-obsessed enough to make Liz Phair sound like Mandy Moore. Whether it's the upfront paean to self-love "Girl Noise," the sexual braggadocio of "When I Do Wrong I Do It So Right" (which shows up the Donnas as lame poseurs), the teasing, yearning "Jean's Dry," or, refreshingly, the matter-of-fact "Punk Boys Don't Rape," Kantzalis' mind is rarely far from her pants, but she's also capable of broader emotions. The opening "Matty Loyal" is a particularly brilliant tune, perfectly capturing the mixed emotions of being the object of someone's crush: Kantzalis sounds flattered, disdainful, intrigued, nervous, and giddy, sometimes all at the same time. The album's sound is occasionally slightly too skeletal and lo-fi, but for most of I'm the King, Kantzalis' unapologetic sexiness and knack for catchy pop-punk hooks makes the title brag self-evident.

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