Pansy Division

Total Entertainment!

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The kings of queercore return with a collection of heartfelt love tunes and hilarious send-ups that eschew simple pop-punk for crunchy power pop (the bouncy and bittersweet "Spiral," for example). The album marks a return to the band's upbeat form after the more serious Absurd Pop Song Romance. Pansy Division has always been especially adept at clever lyrics and Total Entertainment! is no exception, from the laugh-out-loud "Blurry Down Below" ("Woke up this morning and I was pixeled out,") to the wry "Saddest Song" ("Why do I feel so stupid if I'm so damn smart?"). They've also got a knack for new wave (like the vocodered "No Protection") and Pixies punk (like the dark and grinding "Alpine Skiing" -- and if you don't know what that euphemism means, well, you'll just have to either think about it for a few minutes or listen to the song). Pansy Division may still offend conservative sensibilities, but Total Entertainment! is exactly what the title says -- not necessarily the most innovative album of the year but definitely one of the funniest and most fun.

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