You know, a huge component of the music we listen to these days comes down to the act of not giving a fuck.
At this point in their career, the duo has already become legendary. Seven studio albums under their belts spanning styles from death industrial to alt-country to punk rock to sunshine pop… and everything in between. The words of the almighty Boognish are now in the minds of many, as Gene and Dean Ween have become the expected prophets of their demon-god creator.
As Gene was going through a tumultuous divorce, he found himself writing songs about the experiences of a failed relationship. And by the time Quebec was released, their days of preaching about the scepters of wealth and power were far behind them; times were grim.
Indeed, Quebec is their darkest release. The melancholic lyrics and dreary instrumentals only appear on the surface, and even though there are some cheerful-sounding moments here, a sense of dread lies beneath the exterior. This album is an oceanic drop-off point starting on beaches of white sands and plunging head first into a dark, never-ending unknown.
Because of this, the listener may become entranced in its spacey and depressive moments more often than relating to its cathartic nostalgia. “Captain” and “Alcan Road” lie at the bottom of the abyss, exuding an energy that is just waiting to be hoisted up from the darkness. These may very well be the gloomiest songs of the Ween catalog during this period.
“Happy Colored Marbles”, “Hey There Fancypants”, and “So Many People in the Neighborhood” are opposite moments on Quebec that take the listener out of these pits of despair. These songs are classically zany and quirky, calling back to their days of middle school typing class, immature crust punk, and combining the words “wuss” and “penis” (it's Ween, catch my drift?).
And even then, between all of these dark and light moments, there are those that tug at my heartstrings the most. Nostalgia floods the mind when songs such as “Transdermal Celebration”, “If You Could Save Yourself (You’d Save Us All)”, and “I Don’t Want It” start with grandiosity. These are the emotional centerpieces of the record, providing the listener with just enough insight into Gene’s life that it almost becomes a bit too close for comfort. Sure, these songs are anthemic, bittersweet, and introspective as all get-out, but they are not meant for us mere mortals.
As eclectic as Quebec is, it stands for something more in the Ween catalog - a last hurrah, of sorts. It is an emotional joyride of a record that takes the listener through the ups and downs of a failing relationship, but it adds comfort in the fact that everything works out for the better in the end. This is a true testament to artistic expression.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Color: Orange, Green, Red, Blue, Yellow
I Don't Want It
If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)
Reviewer’s Name: Trey Cardi Date of Review: 7/2/2022