Is it possible for an album to be too get-down funky? That's a rhetorical question, of course, because CEO is about as funky as it gets, and it is a nearly perfect album. Greasy, glittery, electric-funky and great, the modus operandi here is hip-hop. The vehicle is Princess Superstar, the alias of the irrepressible Concetta Kirschner. On CEO she is joined by new bandmates Ski Love Ski (bass), Mike Linn (drums) and DJ Science Center, and if you think the names are supersonic, you should hear their chops. The record -- the first release on Kirschner's own slyly christened A Big Rich Major Label -- is actually a concept album parodying and skewering the starchy, disingenuous world of big business (Kirschner has vowed never to sign with a "real" major label). The clever, referential lyrics -- full of pop cultural references and inspired wordplay -- must, by law, be compared to those of the Beastie Boys (Princess Superstar would, in fact, be unthinkable without them). The brilliant musical gumbo of the album is equally ambitious, pulling wildly inventive samples out of left field like the Dust Brothers and Prince Paul, ensuring that Princess Superstar sounds like no one else before them. Some of the music is reminiscent of early Luscious Jackson, though the Luscious ladies only wish they were this funky. Casio noodling, blaxploitation riffs and fat-bottom bass run head-on into each other, making for a wide-ranging and distinctive mix. "The Little Freakazoid that Could" is robotic funk over jazzy drumming, while the ubiquitous "yeahs" that open "I Got to Get Aloan with You" sound like they come out of a School House Rock commercial. There is also a distinctive punk rock/early New York new wave (think Blondie) vibe to CEO, especially on songs such as "Get My Sh'Off" and the title track. Everything is gloriously sifted through a hip-hop filter and a sound framework that verges on musical blasphemy. Who else would think of sampling Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz" or Tommy Roe's "Dizzy" at all, let alone on the same record? CEO is simply phenomenal. Why Princess Superstar is not famous is beyond comprehension.
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