Death By Chocolate - Self-Titled
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Death By Chocolate
Self-Titled

Take one really wacky British chick named Angie Tillett and cross her with silly sing-song lyrics and music that ranges from cheeseball keyboard riffing to lounge music that sounds like it could have come out of Austin Powers and you have Death By Chocolate. As the name alone suggests, this is some pretty damn sweet stuff (both lyrically and musically) and if you're in a cynical mood at all when you put this thing on, you're going to hate it. Tillett has songs where she goes through the alphabet and creates completely random lyrics based on each letter and even does a cover of a song from the Flying Nun.

At least Tillett is admitting that the music is sickeningly sweet from the outset, though, instead of trying to cover anything up. The disc itself is comprised of about 12 full-length songs, but also has several little interval tracks in which she just lists colors and other wacky things that pretty much sound like they're coming off the top of her head. Combined with the dreamy, light music, someone could have told me that this release came out in the late 60's or early 70's and I wouldn't have batted an eyelash.

The album starts out with one such little filler bit (called "Mustard Yellow") in which Tillett runs through a strange batch of items that have such a color before the first real track on the disc starts in "Magpie." With several different keyboard/organ parts, light percussion, and hopscotch-counting lyrics and a layered female chorus, it lets you know just what you're in for on the release. The song "The Land Of Chocolate" may as well be the soundtrack to the boardgame Candyland with the completely childlike vocals about eating different sweets and the drum machine and keyboard backing. Again, if you're wanting something deep at all, steer elsewhere.

Of course, the whole album isn't quite so innocent. In a fairly blatant way, she sings about the effects of a happy little fellow called "The LS Bumble Bee." Perhaps it's not all chocolate that was the influence for the sheer wackiness of this release (as well as the swirling color design on the cover). I have to admit that there are quite a few fun tracks on the disc, though, even if the sweetness of it all is a little overwhelming for me at times. "A B & C" is a fun little keyboard track that sounds like it should be pumping out of a VW microbus with lyrics that mine the alphabet for seemingly free-association lyrics (although I have to admit I learned a few things from the obscure references). "The Salvador Dali Murder Mystery" has a bit of stanky guitar and some wee keyboards that make it sound like something very familiar while the remake of "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out" (from the movie Harold And Maude) is a nice touch as well. Overall, there really isn't anything on the album that will stick with you too long after listening to it, but for a quick sucrose rush, it's not too bad. Plus, wacky chick with british accent plus cheesy lounge sounds may just equal a hit for your next party.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00