Camper Van Beethoven

Key Lime Pie

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Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart closed with Lowery singing about how "Life Is Grand" in pointed response to "those of you who have appointed yourselves to expect us to say something darker." So when Key Lime Pie came out, its moodier music and imagery, not to mention that soon after the fact the band fell apart on the tour for the album, led more than one person to think those darker times had finally arrived. As it is, the group had already gone through one major shake-up between the two albums -- founding member Segel had taken a powder to concentrate on other efforts, with Morgan Fichter brought in as a replacement violinist. Her abilities were certainly praiseworthy, as the album-starting instrumental "Opening Theme" shows quite well. However, it's definitely not the same band that did Telephone Free Landslide Victory a mere four years previous -- things are more straightforwardly rock here most of the time, perhaps not too surprising in light of Lowery's subsequent work in Cracker. As it is, though, it's excellently conceived rock, with space, moodiness, and more to spare. Consider "Jack Ruby," with its wordless backing vocals, tense rhythms, and thick soloing, or "Laundromat" and its steady but unnerving crunch. It's not all potential melancholia, though -- "June" in particular is an underrated number, celebrating the early summer with sweetness and love (at least up to the increasingly stranger ending). Lowery's singing is his best yet, perhaps a little less prone to wackiness but an emergent, distinct voice all the same, and certainly prone to sing a quirky lyric or two still. The oddest thing of all was that the band actually gained a little mainstream attention on MTV and radio via a cover of Status Quo's psych-era nugget "Pictures of Matchstick Men."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:21 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:22 SpotifyAmazon
3 4:45 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:38 SpotifyAmazon
5 3:43 SpotifyAmazon
6 3:48 SpotifyAmazon
7 2:43 SpotifyAmazon
8 4:24 SpotifyAmazon
9 5:14 SpotifyAmazon
10 1:03 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:58 SpotifyAmazon
12 2:44 SpotifyAmazon
13 4:08 SpotifyAmazon
14 3:14 SpotifyAmazon
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