Nine Inch Elvis

Nine Inch Elvis

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AllMusic Review by

If you're going to make an album of techno-industrial Elvis Presley covers, you pretty much have to take one of two approaches: you either make your versions revelatory, or you make them hilarious. Good luck with the first approach -- it's kind of hard to imagine anyone exposing depths of "Don't Be Cruel" and "Jailhouse Rock" that Elvis himself failed to plumb. ("Hound Dog" is another story, of course, but that song is wholly owned by "Big Mama Thornton," whose performance of it leaves Elvis' version trembling in the corner like a spanked puppy.) The mysterious "J. Wilder," who is credited with engineering, producing, mixing, and performing Nine Inch Elvis, is apparently going for humor, and he sometimes gets there -- the techno-metal riffing on "All Shook Up" has a nicely ironic edge to it, while "Jailhouse Rock" manages to juxtapose a modified country-rock two-step rhythm with bleepy keyboards in a way that's sure to raise a smile. But by the time you've sat through "Don't Be Cruel," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Suspicious Minds," and, inevitably, "Hound Dog" the same way, the joke starts to wear a bit thin. This might have made a good three-song maxi-single or, even better, a long medley in a 12" disco mix.

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