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Classic Album Review: Me First & The Gimme Gimmes | Take A Break

The pop-punk parodists get down with their bad selves on old soul & R&B grooves.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


That’s break as in dance, home slice.

For their fourth set of comical cover tunes, pop-punk parodists Me First And The Gimme Gimmes (who are, as fans know, moonlighting members of NOFX, Lagwagon and No Use for a Name) get down with their bad selves on some soul and R&B grooves from back in the day. As usual, most cuts — Whitney Houston’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Boyz II Men’s End of the Road, Seal’s Crazy, R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly and The Chi LitesOh Girl, to name a few — get the standard upgrade package of double-time polka beats, buzzsaw guitars and waist-deep harmonies. And as usual, some work better than others; Lionel Richie’s Hello, f’r instance, benefits from the soaring treatment of its one-word chorus, and the “IknowIknowIknow” chant in Bill WithersAin’t No Sunshine is good for a yuk. But again, as usual, the most worthwhile cuts are the least formulaic ones, like the jerky ska-punk reworking of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U, the Green Day-ish punk-boogie of Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely and the Jackson 5 chestnut I’ll Be There, which is gene-spliced with The CarsJust What I Needed. All in all, it’s not as much fun as their last CD. But I’ll give them a break.