It May Be Obvious: But II Was A Better Album Than The Eponymous Debut by The Presidents of The United States of America
Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: Music.
Call me crazy but II, the sophomore release by The Presidents of the United States of America, is arguably a better album than the group’s 1995 self-titled debut. Self, let’s argue:
Me2: Horse Apples! PUSA (which is what the band’s 1995 release will be called from hear on out) had a far better selection of singles including “Kitty,” “Lump” and “Peaches,” even tracks such as “Feather Pluckin’” and “Dune Buggy” stand out as better selections than anything on II.
Me1: Possibly, but check this out: “Lump” and “Peaches” were released synonymously with humorous music videos and it may be the memory of the videos alone that helps guide your judgment into believing that they were fantastic songs. In reality, however, which is where I live, the songs were sub par and could have easily been overlooked if not for the fact that the music videos were such a success.
Me2: You’re an idiot, and let me explain this slowly so you’ll understand. “Mach 5″ and “Volcano” were released as music videos in the same spirit as everything the band ever did. “Lump” is still a fantastic pop song, as is “Peaches,” you’re just overlooking the humorous quality that band had over the course of its entire career. The only reason you’re not associating humor with the videos for the songs off of II is because they were only played a handful of times on American television and you never had the chance to see them (Japanese television is a different story altogether…the band was and is huge there).
Me1: Well how about this, Mr. I-Like-Being-Gay, PUSA has to be disqualified for its inclusion of “Boll Weevil” on the Ace Ventura 2 Soundtrack…no?
Me2: Again, you’re wrong…had the band included one of its hits to help further the sales of a ridiculously unnecessary soundtrack then you could cry foul. However by including a track that clearly has little to no retail value on its own I think it’s fair to say that the band circumvented the possibility of disqualification in such a situation as this.
Me1: Yeah, but the album had Blues Traveler doing “Secret Agent Man”…
Me2: Point taken…
Me1: How about this – II was a harder-driving album. Tracks along the lines of “Toob Amplifier” and “Ladies and Gentlemen” create a far heavier sound than anything on PUSA, ultimately solidifying the album by giving it a sense of diversification.
Me2: That makes no sense whatever…wait, part 1 or part 2?
Me1: “Ladies and Gentlemen Part 2.”
Me2: Oh, sorry…yeah – good point.
Me1: Plus, how about “Bug City,” no way PUSA has a song that good.
Me2: Ever heard of a little thing called “Dune Buggy?”
Me1: Damn…but tell me this – can you brand anything on PUSA as experimental?
Me2: I’d ask you the same about II…
Me1: Well, they did reference Urge Overkill in “Puffy Little Shoes,” that’s gotta count for something, right?
Me2: True, Exit the Dragon was pretty bad ass.
Me1: I guess that settles it then, II might not have been any better musically than PUSA and it certainly didn’t sell near as many copies, but that being said, PUSA never explicitly referenced Urge Overkill, and II obviously did.
Me2: I concede.
There you have it, two out of two mes can’t be wrong: The Presidents of the United States’ 1996 release II is a better album than its 1995 debut. Deal with it.
[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]