Richard Cheese

Lounge Against the Machine

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In the late '80s and early '90s, two of the funniest characters on Saturday Night Live were the Sweeney Sisters, a Las Vegas-style lounge act that mercilessly butchered everything from Tin Pan Alley standards to Motown hits. Played to perfection by Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn, the Sweeney Sisters were the ultimate parody of cheesy, campy Vegas lounge acts. Like those SNL characters, Richard Cheese has a good laugh at the expense of lounge music on Lounge Against the Machine. But this goofy CD doesn't butcher Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra; instead Cheese turns his attention to mostly alternative rock hits of the '90s. In Cheese's hands, everything from Nirvana's "Rape Me," Garbage's "Only Happy When It Rains," and Radiohead's "Creep" to Rage Against the Machine's "Guerilla Radio" and Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" gets a lounge makeover. The songs' angst-ridden lyrics and Cheese's frivolous, Vegas-minded arrangements make for odd, ironic contrasts, and that's exactly what the singer is going for. In addition to lampooning lounge music, Cheese is laughing at the abundance of angst that one hears in a lot of alternative rock. One could say that he is making fun of two idioms (Vegas lounge music and alternative rock) at the same time. But Lounge Against the Machine doesn't need to be analyzed to death. This CD should be taken for what it is: A cute and amusing novelty item.

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