Bruce McCulloch

Shame-Based Man

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Shame-Based Man Review

by Tomas Mureika

The debut album from Kids in the Hall's quirky comedian is a wonderful collaboration with Blue Rodeo alumni Bob Wiseman, representing the best of both artists. Essentially a collection of twenty of McCulloch's stream-of-consciousness monologues and wacked-out characters, Shame-Based Man veers from black humor to unsettling observations, touching on subjects that include stalkers, repressed homosexuality, alcohol abuse, the Christian right, and obesity, among many others. "Answering Machine" is an ode to the beauty of non-communication in the modern world ("I love my answering machine/It keeps the people I know away from me"), while "Lift Me Up" is a semi-traditional love duet, only between a naive young boy and his dirty old mentor. At once provocative, disturbing, and genuinely laugh out loud funny, Shame-Based Man is that most remarkable of comedy albums: one that bears (frequent) repeated listenings. If there is any justice, this will not be McCulloch and Wiseman's only collaboration.

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