See You Next Tuesday

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Much of what is wrong with Fannypack's second album can be found in the title, See You Next Tuesday (if you don't get it, ask a fifth grader). You can also get the picture from the booklet photo of Belinda, Cat, and Jessibel toting guns or from the song about lap dancing or from the song where Jessibel threatens that you'll "get shot if you hear me wrong." The fun-loving girls and guys of Fannypack have changed. Sure, the record has an exciting sound with loads of tight beats and tough-girl rapping, but it also has a cold, calculating heart and an overall feel of aggression and sleaziness that was nowhere to be found on So Stylistic. The snarkiness has been replaced by raunch. Belinda, Cat, and Jessibel sound grown up now, and while that was inevitable, it's sad that they grew up to be more Christina Aguilera than Betty Boo. Now instead of fun songs about fashion disasters, boom boxes, and goofy teenage stuff like that, you get songs about lap dancing, beating people up, sex, sex, and more sex. The putdowns sound more cold-hearted and mean-spirited, the music is less sample-driven and goofy, and the rhyme about being "on fire all night/make it hot like Great White" is both lame and unforgivable. The sound of the record is more calculated too, with generous amounts of dancehall reggae tossed in to capitalize on the incipient reggaeton boom, the sped-up Kanye West-style vocals on "You Gotta Know," and the use of the played-out Diwali riddim on "Feet & Hands." There are a couple of songs that capture the silly and sweet vibe of the first album: "Keep It Up" is a jumping sports-hop anthem with cute use of sneaker squeaks, referee whistles, and marching band beats for backing, while the sleek remake of Lidell Townsell's early '90s house classic "Nu Nu (Yeah Yeah)" is nice and well, but that's about it. The rest of the record is as cold and gray and mean as a clich├ęd vision of the streets of New York City. You could say that Fannypack are just reflecting the times, but did we really need them to? What was wrong with the hilarious sampledelic fun they were peddling before? You could compare it to De La Soul falling from 3 Feet High and Rising to De La Soul Is Dead, in fact, this is an even more disheartening plummet from Day-Glo genius to drab everyday product.

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