It's hard to know what to make of this album. Is it merely a blending of the disparate elements of heavy metal and country club background music? Or is it a follow up to Metheny's saccharine and overly sentimental 1992 effort, From Then 'Til Now,
a forgettable plunge into the gooey abyss of musical autobiography and unsolicited personal revelation?
From the outset of Embouchure Of Doom, we know attention spans will be tested and listener sensibilities dissolved. Witness "Razor Blades & Bebop," a disjointed attempt to write a bop line to Gesualdo's "Die, Unfaithful Harlot." Even the overdubbing of the aberrant sonic experiments of a thrashing band of metalheads can't salvage this dismal track.
Or what about the parody of "He's Not Heavy, He's My Brother" with droning vocals from a chorus of musical wannabes like Metheny who, without the advantage of a famous last name, would be sitting on rain-swept park benches discussing the finer points of existential angst with defecating pigeons.
And then there's "Sphincter Boy," much like "I'm Not Heavy...", another plagiarism lawsuit waiting to happen. From the opening strains of Metheny's lone vocal on this album, we know we are in for a more-than-we-need-to-know description of the alienation suffered by a middle-aged, baby boomer bed wetter. ("There was a boy/A very strange incont'nent boy...")
To the chase. Embouchure of Doom is a sorry collection of sloppy clichés mixed with a derivative mish-mash of cloying and monotonous expositions destined to whimper from ceiling Muzak systems in shopping malls.
Sorry, Mike, but I'd rather listen to a flatulent 400 pound circus fat lady play "Feelings" on the bagpipes than endure the swill that oozes from the quagmire of your giddy, pubescent and pathological imagination.
Personnel: Mike Metheny, electric trumpet, cheesy synths, other offensive mechanical devices; Roger Clinton,
Frank Stallone, Joey Travolta, Gap Mangione and LaToya Jackson, background vocals; unidentified
obscure 3-chord session musicians; sampled zoo animal mating grunts