I’m going to give Joe Scarborough, and his music, the “on the nose review”-
For a political pundit it’s real good, but I think Joe wants us to take him seriously as an artist, and through that lens, his music is painfully derivative. Each track is a different replicant, a cheap replicant, from different eras and genres. If it was a greatest hits album spanning 3 decades, okay. But this is supposed to be a coherent musical statement in the here and now, and it’s like karaoke night on The Hill.
Derivative isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re deriving from one or two sources and then you put your unique stamp on it and follow through with it until you own it.
Muse did that with Radiohead. At first I laughed at Muse for being such copycats, but they’ve managed to wrestle away a bit of Radiohead’s soul and have squatted on it to great effect.
Scarborough derivativeness is amateur hour, where you take a little from just about everywhere, never really quite forming your own sound. I swear some of it sounds like the incidental music used for a Starsky and Hutch car chase laid over a Pete Yorn riff.
You’ll get bits of Squeeze (that’s where you do a two-track vocal where the extreme bass sings the root and the higher pitch sings a harmony, which, in effect, becomes the root, if that makes sense) duct-taped awkwardly to Fountains of Wayne meets Lou Reed with SCARBOROUGH’S Mentos Breath Mint horn section, which manages to make an appearance on every song whether it’s warranted or not. And on 99.99% of his songs, they aren’t warranted. They feel like gate-crashers rather than song enhancers.
And the key changes, my God, the key changes. Barry Manilow said, “enough!”
I’m not going to claim that it’s all rancid. It’s not. The song linked below is pretty good. It’s catchy. It’s Cars meets Bowie meets Flock of Seagulls meets video game theme song. And that’s his undoing. To many “meets.”
“Scarbys. He’s got the meets!”
If you’re keeping score-
For a Political Pundit Musician- Very, very Good. His vocals benefit greatly from studio enhancements. (Live he is abysmal.)
For An Artist – Less than fair.
At least we can be thankful that Mika doesn’t make any cameo appearances, playing a cowbell or screaming like a banshee.
Oh wait. Behold! Mika Ono-
Do we have to review his music VIDEOS now?
Okay, this I can say is RANCID.
It’s very, very, very, very much like a college student project. Seems deep, and it is. It’s a deep pile of bullshit.
Am I being harsh?
Well, Joe says Trump isn’t very presidential.
I say Joe is musidential. And that’s not a compliment.
Are you going to Scarborough Hair?