The Frogs

It's Only Right and Natural

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    9
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If Right and Natural isn't quite yet the White Light/White Heat of a new generation, it's getting close -- unknown upon release, venerated by multitudes of listeners and bands since all out of proportion to its public profile. The insane secret of the record is its perfect -- if not note-perfect -- combination of hooks, folky influences (especially from the U.K. -- "Baby Greaser George" is practically an acoustic T. Rex homage), and utterly outrageous, hilarious lyrics and stories. Nothing is sacred, but the methods used would probably frighten even Monty Python or South Park's creators at their prime. The centerpiece to everything is gay love, lust, and more at its most crazed -- song titles like "These Are the Finest Queen Boys I've Ever Seen" and the sweetly catchy celebration "Homos" help say it all. Right from the start, when Dennis Flemion slurs "I've got drugs...that'll blow your mind tonight...out of your mind tonight" on "Out of the Mist," things can't help but be more than gone. By the time the song gets to the priest with drug-filled lips, listeners will have decided whether to stay the course or get out while the getting's good. One definite fun point about Right and Natural is seeing how it influenced future artists. Beck sampled the double-tracked claim, "That was a good drum break" -- even though the break is audibly terrible -- from "I Don't Care if You Disrespect Me (Just So Long as You Love Me)" for "Where It's At." The Blake Babies, meanwhile, took the song title "Rosy Jack World" for an album, and so forth. What makes the album all the more grand is its ear for tenderness in unexpected areas -- "Been a Month Since I Had a Man" is gently melancholy, and more straightforward (if not straight) than anything else around it.

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