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Are We Not Men We Are Diva

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 13, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

ARE WE NOT MEN WE ARE DIVA
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Wreck Chords
  • ASIN: B00J2HMC26
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,835 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Me First and The Gimme Gimmes Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you're a MFATGG fan, the odds are you'll find at least a few endearing covers on the album to keep you entertained, but overall the album lacks much of the personality and fun we've come to expect from the band. I love and respect the Gimmes, and I will gladly throw my money at them any time they come into town, but from the very get go this album just didn't seem to bring the same magic as their previous albums did. Part of me can't help but think that's because the band themselves didn't come together with an honest cohesive energy on some of the tracks. It kind of felt like they said, "I guess the next logical step is a Diva album. Let's try to not be bored with this same shtick. Try...."

Musically the album diverts somewhat from the classic Gimme formula of melodic high-energy punk rock, the touch of comedic sensibility, and a sincere and respectful treatment of the source material. This time the band opted to slow down on a few tracks and overall omitted Spike's humorous screams at the ends of songs as well as the fusion of classic punk rock riffs with classic hits. Slowing down the tempo is fine as long as you're doing something we haven't heard before or -- at the very least -- doing something interesting. This time it felt like the lower tempo treatment was done just for the sake of not doing punk rock tempo, and ultimately those songs felt like they added little if anything to the original source material. As far as the lack of Spike screams and merged punk ditties goes, there's nothing wrong with maturing up your act and evolving your comic brand, but don't omit the comedy entirely. We only get a worthwhile end-of-song Spike scream at the end of the last track, and that felt more like they just threw it in as part of a checklist to say, "ok we did that." Overall, the album just wasn't as fun as any of their others.

With an 8 year time lapse between their last album, it's tough to tell; have the Gimmes changed, or have I?
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Format: MP3 Music
As a huge fan of the band, I eagerly looked forward to their first full album in 8 years. One review I read suggested that the band was a bit bored with some of the lesser material they cover here, but I came away thinking they were actually getting bored of their own punk cover approach. A lot of the performances here are unlike what we've gotten in the past. This is easily the most "pop" set of songs they've done on an album, and at times they stick a little closer to that pop sound than one would probably expect (or like).

"Believe" keeps the auto-tune, but it doesn't really feel like irony. Fans looking for a shredding take on "My Heart Will Go On" will be surprised or disappointed: the vocals are done fairly straight, to a stomping folk music sound complete with accordion. Maybe the least unlikely Gimme song they've ever done.

Strangely, the cut of "I Will Always Love You" here is the exact one done before on their '07 Dolly Parton-themed EP. Presumably they were evoking Whitney Houston here, but it seems like they easily could've done another of her songs instead.

"Crazy for You" starts out with a uke and straightforward vocals, and while it feels like a build up to breakneck punk, the whole things stays slow and sparse. Arrangements like this make the album feel like more of a solo production for vocalist Spike Slawson at times.

"Diva" doesn't feel as shuffle/repeat-worthy as their previous work. Maybe 2/3rds of the album has that high-energy, if formulaic, Gimmes sound. "Top of the World," "Karma Chameleon," and "On the Radio" are fun, perhaps because the originals were. You may very well appreciate the other different approaches here, but it's probably worth sampling before buying.
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Format: MP3 Music
Admittedly I have a deep, meaningful love for this band. That said, this is another great album from them. Particular stand outs on this one are My Heart Will Go On and Straight Up. I still think their two best albums are Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah and Blow in the Wind--but this one will be in heavy rotation in my car for quite some time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I mostly enjoyed this album, there's some great tracks on here. This is the only version of "My Heart Will Go On" I can stand to listen to. Having said that, there's a couple of really disappointing tracks on here. I kept expecting "Crazy For You" to devolve into a heavy mess of hard rock and punk, but it didn't... it kept dragging on as a boring, plucky song. Meh. Struck off my playlist.

What really surprised me is the acoustic quality of this album. It SOUNDS fantastic, the mixing is masterfully done and all the instruments have a great presence. Me First isn't exactly known for their quality studio acoustic quality, so this album is quite a treat if you happen to be a Me First fan who's also an audiophile.

One interesting thing worth noting: here on Amazon, the MP3 album costs $9.49, but the CD costs $8... which includes the MP3 album!!! If you have Amazon Prime, that means free 2 day shipping. So there's really no reason to get "just" the MP3 album at all. In 2 days, I'll have the CD here and I can rip the tracks to FLAC format for the best possible sound quality. Sweet!
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Format: Audio CD
The only reason someone wouldn't like this album is if they really dislike the original songs in the first place. Even if you don't like some of the originals, the MF&TGG version could easily change your mind. Some songs that were originally slow and/or maybe took themselves too seriously are much more fun all punked up.
Fat Wreck Chords (see what they did with their name there?) sells direct with much better MP3 files available instantly, and the CD is only a coupld of bucks extra.
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Are We Not Men We Are Diva
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