The Cucumbers

The Cucumbers

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The second album by the Cucumbers was released on Profile Records, a New York rap label with little institutional knowledge of what to do with a quirky guitar pop group like this one. The first misstep is David Young's inappropriately slick production, which is too heavy on the synthesizers and electronic drums and far too light on the strummy acoustic guitars that the far superior Who Betrays Me...And Other Happier Songs was built on. The re-recording of the group's first single, the perky "My Boyfriend," shows what a bad idea this stylistic choice was: What had once been a catchy, quirky piece of Hoboken-style guitar pop is completely rearranged, with an entirely different vocal melody that Deena Shoshkes seems to be having trouble negotiating. The whole thing is kind of leaden and dull, which unfortunately can be said even of the best of the new songs. "Just Don't Tell Me What to Do" and "Don't Drop the Baby" have an underlying urgency that threatens to pierce the glossiness of their presentation, but even they don't quite manage. Lack of commercial response to The Cucumbers effectively stalled the bands momentum, and it wasn't until 1994 that they managed to release another album.

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