Today covers major label disc #2 from 3!OH!3, previously known for the Helen Keller name-dropping "Don't Trust Me". So do they have what it takes to make lightning strike twice? Mostly.
Opening track "I Can Do Anything" sets the tone for the album - irreverent, frat-boy-joke-heavy, but still clever in a cheeky kind of way, with quips like "I could run for president or just run the block / I could be a stoner or...shit I forgot" and becomes very polarizing from the first note right there - if that kind of humor is not your cup of tea, move along. If that kind of humor with some slowed-down ballads to mellow out the vibe is something that intrigues, feel free to keep on listening.
Techno-brat-glitter-sleaze-queen Kesha stops by to lend some of her trademark to "My First Kiss" - love her or hate her, she does what she does well - even if what she doesn't isn't especially noteworthy. The momentum picks up with the glitched-out "Deja Vu" - a song that manages to weld the closest thing to a ballad so far with the same drinking/partying/going crazy vibe the disc has mined so far. Next track "We Are Young" keeps that up, only it ditches the party vibe long enough to traffic in some well-worn cliches about self-reliance and independence. Cliches, yes, but as I have observed in previous reviews - sometimes saying the same thing others have said before doesn't matter if the music passes the message to the listener in a nice catchy package. This one certainly does - the glitch and distortion is turned down for a simple synth-march anthem that definitely sticks in the head after it's over.
"Touchin on my" uses a trick some have before, but to much more amusing effect. It's all swaggering come-on, but then it gets goofy with the "If you wanna <bleep> me I won't say no" and each <bleep> is note-matched to the voices coming along before it. Is the song drenched in sleaze? Yes, but it's still plenty of fun, and the bleeps actually add a layer of "leave it up to the imagination" that keeps it from sounding over-done or forced.
"House Party" is a gleefully snotty throwback anthem which aims a giant spitball at every last song out there glorifying the glitzy club life and going out to have fun. Snotty, yes, but fun, and a reminder that not all fun has to be had out on the town.
The downcast breakup anthem "R.I.P." brings the party vibe to a screeching halt. This would be a jarring change, but when even downcast thoughts are wrapped up in such peppy music, it doesn't feel that way nearly as much. Things pick back up well with "I Know How To Say" - a globe-trotting name-drop spree that calls to mind such "list-songs" as "We didn't start the fire" or perhaps "It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)"
Bottom line - is "Streets of Gold" a paragaon of deep thought and profound musings? No. Is it a gleeful celebration of excess, perseverance and fun, with some sobering-up moments slotted carefully in between? Most definitely - and for what it is, it works well.