Alex Cameron is just as substantially a musician as he is a effectiveness artist. He normally takes on personas—usually that of a sleazebag everyman, the variety of guy who frequents strip clubs and casinos on weekday afternoons. His operate is deliberately provocative, intentionally transgressive, and almost never severe. In an period of indie audio that can at times come to feel so self-consciously woke that it suffocates, Cameron can really feel like a breath of fresh new air. He’s a latter-working day Harmony Korine character: Alien in Spring Breakers participating in Britney Spears on a piano with white-male cornrows and grills, or the titular Seashore Bum going for walks around the pool in a pink marabou bathrobe. On 2016’s lo-fi opus, Leaping the Shark, Cameron gave off the vibe of a down on his luck wedding ceremony singer accomplishing Suicide b-sides. On 2017’s Compelled Witness, he penned a propulsive, weirdly transferring ’80s synth-pop ballad that included rhyming “Down Syndrome Jew,” with “the genuine estate crew.” His music, at its finest, is a a little bit problematic—but needed—reprieve from the position quo, a fantastic snicker.
Oxy Tunes is a unique beast, but it does not test to be. Cameron’s fourth record attempts all of the same tips that designed his new music so persuasive before in his job, but with much much less accomplishment. The sleazebag little bit has grown outdated and the character-research operate makes an attempt to be transgressive but is basically just trite and, crucially, not specifically funny. The ’80s audio palette that gave so a lot lifetime into his previously documents now has lapsed into pastiche. “Sara Jo,” has a catchy melody, blasts of saxophone, and chintzy synths. But it is catchy in the way that a tune in the grocery retail outlet is, something tinny and distant. You’re singing along whilst figuring out the calorie information of S’Mores Pop-Tarts, even nevertheless you never know the lyrics. Which, by the way, requires Cameron singing the phrase, “Who advised my brother that his young children are gonna die from this vaccine?” a bunch of situations.
Possibly the 1 funny detail about the record is its name. It is Roxy Audio minus the “R”, an homage to the drug identified as Oxycontin. It’s rather edgy things, which is a grim caveat of his much less than persuasive social commentary to be observed within. Cameron attempts to clearly show that he is a) thoroughly not woke and not intrigued in getting Personal computer but also b) not like, a total nihilist, he’s totally a interesting, self-aware, caring dude. Look no even more than “Cancel Society,” which is equally a critique of cancel lifestyle and a critique of people today who feel terminate culture is terrible. “Lily-white/But I use ebonics when I’m on-line,” Cameron croons in a falsetto, “Because everything’s dope/And I can hardly conceal it, toddler.” He’s contacting out hypocrites and society vultures with the variety of air of anyone who thinks he’s enlightened, but the meta mother nature of the tune makes it experience even far more slimy than if it basically experienced anything novel or fascinating to say about terminate culture—which it doesn’t.
The point is, Cameron needs you to think he’s thoroughly in on the joke. You see, these tracks are meant to audio lousy. But the self-recognition seriously only carries you so far in an album that seems like Costco-manufacturer Roxy New music on function. The spartan creation is some of the weakest in Cameron’s job, primarily consisting of low-priced-sounding computer software plugins and it’s possible a handful of classic synthesizers. Far more than nearly anything, it normally takes on the quality of a brief story published by a young student trying to cram as quite a few neon lights, bongs, uzis, blow careers, g-strings, and jokes into 10 pages as achievable. For how clearly good, formidable, and upsettingly tuneful Cameron is, it’s a pity that he employs his talent for these exercises in sophistry, tunes that feels so vacuous and fleeting that it gets one with the incredibly modernity it seeks to lampoon. I guess that is quite funny.
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