Machiavelli and the Four Seasons

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TISM had generated a strong cult following during the 14 years of their existence prior to the release of this album, but commercial success had proved elusive. Which isn't surprising given the borderline offensiveness of their lyrics and their questionable musicianship. But for Machiavelli and the Four Seasons, the band chose to embrace dance music, and the resulting commercial success this album enjoyed came as a shock, at least to the band, if to no one else.

Machiavelli sees TISM at their wittiest since Great Truckin' Songs. Their lyrics are smart and their use of musical trends extremely clever. The prime example of this being "All Homeboys Are Dickheads," which uses hip-hop music to launch an attack on the culture of rap music ("He's culturally excluded/And genetically inbred/But the reason he's a homeboy/Is because he's a dickhead"). The Beach Boys harmonies on "Greg! The Stop Sign!!" provide another highlight of the disc.

Funny, clever, and just tasteless enough to make it interesting, Machiavelli and the Four Seasons was easily the best TISM album of the '90s.

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