Richard Cheese

Silent Nightclub

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Yeah, here's the thing: sometimes it's best to just let a joke die. You know that person who was still saying "not!" at the end of every third sentence in, like, 1994? And how you just wished that person would at the very least just shut up already and, in extreme cases, be slapped repeatedly and in public? That's going to be the general reaction to Richard Cheese's Christmas album, Silent Nightclub. Yes, yes, easy listening versions of alternative rock hits, we know. It's played. Let it go. It's hard to gauge what's more annoying about Silent Nightclub, the mind-numbing banality of the premise or how laughably far Cheese and his cohorts go to find songs that fit the holiday theme. "Personal Jesus"? Sure. "Do They Know It's Christmas"? Naturally. "Like a Virgin"? Reaching. "I Melt with You." -- um -- why, exactly? Actually, to be bluntly honest, the most irritating aspect of the record is how it doesn't go far enough with the premise: why not enliven the songs with some whacked-out Esquivel-style space age bachelor pad arrangements to go with the smarmy nod-and-a-wink vocals? Simply put, there is little reason for this album to exist.

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