It’s not often that I’m struck speechless by an album, but Chico Ray’s latest, Chico Ray, accomplishes it, handily. It’s not that it is a bad album or that Chico isn’t a talented musician; it’s that Chico let all of his inner demons take control of the wheel. What you’re left with, despite being a depraved yet sonically soothing mixture of toilet-humor, warped lyrics, soaring vocals, and talented acoustic guitar strumming, is…
Well, dammit. I told you it left me speechless.
For those brave enough to join me in listening to Chico Ray’s self-titled effort, all that comes to mind is a suggestion that you enter into the experience with an open mind and a gigantic load of patience. When faced with an album that gleefully opens with a song entitled “Sh*tting,” that turns out to be a wonderfully mellow track that is accompanied by, naturally enough, various bathroom sounds, there’s really nothing else you can do.
Fortunately, behind the broad strokes of such tracks as the opener, or the monotonous repetition of such tracks as “Eat My D**k for Breakfast,” and “Remember My P***y,” of the fact that nearly half of the lyrics seem at time nothing more or less than Chico seeing just how much he can get away with on an album, there is definitely something that kept me listening.
Whether it is the fact that Chico has this wonderful voice that sounds like he might be the bastard step-child of Primus’ Wes Claypool, that he has some fairly decent music holding down the album, or that after all is said and done he has shined a light on my own childish and perverted inner child, Chico Ray, despite all my best intentions of tossing it aside as I chided it for being childish, has managed to stay in my record collection.
Admittedly, it’s buried way down where I think nobody else will notice. It’s there, though, and if there are others out there with their own twisted inner child, maybe you’ll give Chico Ray a similar spot in your own collection after giving him a listen.
Don’t plan on sharing it with the wife, though, without getting glared at. Trust me.
(Chico Ray's self-titled album can be purchased on his myspace page, which is linked in the article. Go ahead, buy one. You know you want to.)