The Deeper You Dig

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As Butterfingers lament in their second album's opening track, "Anthem," critics (and awards judges) often have a hard time categorizing them: "Can't be urban, it's just not black enough/can't be contemporary, not wack enough/can't be rock 'cause we flip to hip hop." This album won't help those trying to pin their fusion of rap and rock influences down, as they continue racing in at least four different directions at once in most of the songs. The punky "Ska Chase" takes breaks for miniature solos that cover flamenco guitar, jazz saxophone, new wave synth, and deedly-deedly metal guitar while "Beautiful Music" marks a turn towards neo-hippie roots music. Frontman Evil Eddie's complaint about his relationship woes, "Like 'Em When They're Trouble," is a vaguely similar rootsy jam, but his vocals still swing from rapping to singing at the drop of a beat. "Golden Sunshine" starts out as relaxing as a tropical beach holiday, but becomes as demented as any Ween song by its end. While they've evolved musically, mastering more diverse styles, they've done it without getting much more serious -- the self-deprecating boast rap of "Figjam" is as funny as anything they've written and Evil Eddie's obsession with menstruation is just as juvenile. Tying together this explosion at the genre factory is the uplifting "Get Up Outta the Dirt," a motivational speech in rap form that references half the album's songs, switching into their styles as it does so. While the overall effect may not be as quite as fresh or addictive as their debut, it will please fans immensely.

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