You could lose a filling on Troublesome Bubblegum, in
more ways than one. The German duo of Nicole Morier and
Mia Dime that is Electrocute (although Mia has departed
since this album was released and been replaced by an American,
Holly Doll) raunchily sass their way through 14 quick and
dirty electro-pop numbers that sound like they're being performed
by a couple of jaded inflatable dolls with a whole lot of candy
melting in their fists. Disaffected, Valley Girl vocals
(impressive, really, since I thought they were German?) accompany
candied 1980's synths with programmed drum beats and the occasional
pulp fiction slice of Nicole's Fender Mustang, all brought into
this century by some decidedly professional production (Mickey
Petralia, who has produced the likes of Beck and Ladytron).
Plenty of the lyrics are a little silly and over-the-top in their
attempt to be overtly sexual, but even when the lyrics aren't
the best the music is still as infectious as the diseases that
people as busy as the ones in these songs would be swapping.
Several songs on the album are reminiscent of The B-52s,
with similar peppy beats, squawky, Kate Pierson vocals
and offbeat lyrics (e.g., "Fun Is A Floppy Bitch").
In addition to the new wave slut music of "Shag Ball,"
"Venus Fly Trap," "Cops Copulating," "Blow
It" and "Dogs 'N' Dolls," Electrocute pays homage
to the bubblegum in the album title's name with "Goodbye
Johnny," which could be a synthetic re-working of "The
Leader Of The Pack," complete with a faint ambulance siren
in the background. Then there's just good driving music, like
"Tales Of Ordinary Sadness" (my favorite on the album
- I really dig her guitar) and "Two Lane Blacktop."
The overall effect of Troublesome Bubblegum easily could
have been lightweight, frothy and altogether disposable, but somehow
the duo's cleverness, creativity and recognition of the value
of an irresistible dance beat keep this sleazy cotton candy from
imploding on itself.
1. Tales Of Ordinary Sadness
2. Nobody Likes Us
3. Shag Ball
4. Fun Is A Floppy Bitch
5. Venus Fly Trap
6. Jet Set Boy
7. Cops Copulating
8. Blow It
9. Dogs 'N' Dolls
10. Two Lane Blacktop
11. Goodbye Johnny
12. Kleiner Dicker Junge
13. North 14
14. Car Bomb Derby
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