Music Reviews

James Kochalka Superstar

Don’t Trust Whitey


Contrast the name of this album with the fact that James Kochalka Superstar is a white man (from Vermont, even). That should give you some insight about this unique artist. His songs always ring true, whether they are about having sex and lots of it, or friendly mutant carrots, or the eternal battle between humanity and its technology. With a charming, direct style and a distinctive yelping voice, Kochalka puts together songs that appeal to the child in each of us, but somehow end up not being quite appropriate for the young’uns… I’m still somewhat uneasy about my kids asking to hear “Talk to the Wookie” one more time.

Don’t Trust Whitey is the most “produced” JKS album to date, although I should clarify that it’s just specific songs on here that got the red carpet audio treatment; others are clearly boombox demos, and there is a fairly even distribution of material in between the two extremes. “Pussy Gangster” is a brief but hilarious attempt of Kochalka’s to cross over into the urban market. The aforementioned “Talk to the Wookie” is a pounding rocker that kinda sounds like it’s about picking up girls at some intergalactic cantina. But it isn’t. “Sleighride To Heck” features the talents of Moby, specifically banging on stuff around the room and penis exposure. The complementary tracks “Neigh-Neigh and Woo-Woo” and “Woo-Woo and Neigh Neigh” are truly the height of drama, or some fever dream from falling asleep to “Horse With No Name.” Such is James Kochalka Superstar.

The 16-page CD booklet, as always, includes some of Kochalka’s comic artwork. A nice bonus.

James Kochalka:

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