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Of Whales & Woe


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Audio CD, May 30, 2006
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Frequently Bought Together

Of Whales & Woe + Of Fungi & Foe + Purple Onion
Price for all three: $38.86

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 30, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Prawn Song
  • ASIN: B000F9T6J2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Back Off Turkey
2. One Better
3. Lust Stings
4. Of Whales And Woe
5. Vernon The Company Man
6. Phantom Patriot
7. Iowan Gal
8. Nothin' Ventured
9. Rumble Of The Diesel
10. Robot Chickent
11. Filipino Ray
12. Off-White Guilt

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 2006 Primus main man/bass legend Les Claypool will be revealing his multi media talents as he releases this solo studio album (his first since 2002), publishes his first novel and releases an independent feature film that he wrote, directed and stars in. Of Whales And Woe marks the first album release under the name Les Claypool. While previous solo efforts were issued under a variety of monikers, these new recordings are the most self-contained to date. Les handles percussion, guitar and drums as well as his usual bass and vocals. This multi-genre release is diverse enough to please both Primus fans and the jam band crowd.

Amazon.com

Primus bassman/mainstay Les Claypool uses the occasion of his fifth strictly solo outing to strip his musical instincts almost to the bone; guitars are almost non-existent, with Skerik's sax and the sitar/theremin work of Gabby La La providing the punctuation. Pushing his aggressive, wickedly fluid bass work even farther into the spotlight will no doubt please Claypool's most ardent fans, but the gambit also yields an album whose hypnotic rhythms and spare but potent seasonings are often intriguing. The dozen tracks may be driven by Claypool's feverish, often willfully obtuse creative muse--imagine a smackdown between Zappa and Bootsy with Zorn as referee--yet often constrained by a sense of shrewd pop economics that are rare in similar, instrumental virtuoso-driven excursions. "Vernon the Company Man" and "Phantom Patriot" are texturally compelling, if limited by a lyrical approach that's but re-heated Frank Z. "One Better" and "Rumble of the Diesel" offer sizzling funk workouts, while "Iowan Gal" and "Robot Chicken" evoke whacked-out metallic hoedowns for cyborgs of all ages. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

It is still funky and bass heavy like you are use to.
John Smith
This is also good, because it demands attention to digest it all instead of displaying it in an easily accessible manner.
Kelsey Cain
The funkiest Claypool album yet, and possibly the best thing the man has made since Frizzle Fry.
Maury C. Cavendish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Self Induced on June 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
a message directed to D. Margo Berkeley Snapper, the one who gave this CD a terrible review: you're way too critical, and you don't know what the hell you're talking about. first of all, this is NOT a Primus album. so why the hell should it sound like one? it has all of Les' characteristics - the funky quirky bass playing, the cartoonish storytelling singing, and the groove oriented rhythmic song structures. yeah, it may be a little bit more raw compared to Primus, and maybe its not as "heavy" as Primus, but that doesn't make it a bad album. in fact, I think its the best record Les has done since the last Primus album. his songs are invitations into another world. his lyrics show that Les is a guy that obviously enjoys life and knows not to take anything too seriously. his descriptive words can make any topic seem interesting. he's laidback and he sure knows how to have fun while making an album. it definitely shows. this is Les' twisted, warped version of good-time happy music. I highly recommend it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey Cain on June 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Primus fan for a long time, and I've always noted the Residents influence. I think that it comes through more on this record than any other that Claypool has done, which is exciting to me. I didn't think that Highball and Purple Onion stood out as much as Sausage or Eyeball, so I was glad to hear something a little different this time. This album is far more textured than Onion and Eyeball, it just takes more attention to notice. This is also good, because it demands attention to digest it all instead of displaying it in an easily accessible manner. I think Primus comes across better because it's the work of 3 geniuses, but as far as a solo effort this record is very successful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By fats on May 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Les Claypool has always been an innovative mind, and has always taken steps far beyond the paths of normal musicians to create some of the most virtuostically whacked-out music in the world. call it thrash, funk metal, or whatever suits your fancy, Claypool's music is, regardless, not for the faint of heart. Whether or not your musical tastes are suitable for Claypool's...interesting style of playing, his bass playing skills cannot be denied, as he is one of the best ever, and definitely the best living.

The new album, Of Whales And Woe, is certainly an interesting little number. This album, like Purple Onion, was composed entirely by Les, but unlike that album, this has a much more personal feel to it, and warrants the name Les Claypool, not Frog Brigade, on the cover. A song-by-song analysis:

1.) Back Off Turkey- If you've heard Purple Onion (the song), Les' looping skills are not something new. Here, Les and co. (including his kids) make a nice little introduction to the new record. Doesn't get a rating, as its not a song per se, but still excellent for what it is.

2.) One Better- The "single", for lack of a better word, from the album, One Better proves that Claypool isn't getting worse with age, but much much better- his bass playing is sharp, and the music is some his most complexly written ever. Skerik and Mike Dillon compliment Claypool nicely on this track, and its one of the best off of the album. Highly recommended. 5/5

3.) Lust Stings- The rumble of a bass starts this song chugging along, and a baritone sax gives it that dirty, smoke-filled bar feel that makes it one of the coolest tunes Les has ever composed. One that takes longer to wrap the ol noggin around, its worth it. 4/5

4.) Of Whales And Woe- More like Of Whales And WOAH!
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Forsman on June 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm a long time Les Claypool fan. He's never released an album I didn't like in some respects. That being said, I don't think it's fair to give this album a 5 star or a 1 star review. While it does have it's moments, many of the songs approach Les' strangest work. I don't mind weird Claypool, but I can't see him reaching any new fans with this work, and I can easily seeing a lot of long-time Primus fans very upset over this album. Before you brush off or praise this album, you really should give it multiple listens.

I hate to compare this to any of his other work simply because all of his work is so unique. The songs on this disc sound a lot more natural and organic compared to the music on Purple Onion. This is both bad and good. Listening to this feels more like watching Les just mess around on stage. Anyone who has seen any of his non-Primus shows will be familiar with this sound, but at the same time the songs aren't anywhere near as concise and catchy as the songs on Purple Onion. If there is any one negative thing I could say about this album, it's that it's short.. roughly 39 minutes. It'll definetely leave you wanting more.

So, should you buy it? If you're a Claypool fan that's a stupid question, because I'm sure you bought it already. If you are new to his music, pick up some Primus discs first.. or even Purple Onion or one of the Live Frogs disc. Of Whales and Woe isn't his best work, but what you get here is a decent album with some strong songs. It's not a breakthrough by any means, it's just Les doing what he does best.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Z. Gonzalez on June 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album could best be related to a magic eye poster; at first glance it comes off as a plethora of color with no meaning, but if you give it two or three listens a picture begins to appear. At first I was very skeptical of it, Skerik's sax was a little too distorted, and Claypool's character tales came off a little forced and uninspired, but then I thought about all the god awful [...] that mainstream record labels shove down people's throats like so much tripe, and I could do nothing but thank the Colonel for his quirky, catchy, mesmerizing bass lines, and Mike Dillon for his xylophone mastery, and began to really appreciate this album and the music for just that, the music. Unlike what some of the more brown nosing critics I wont agree that it's the most cohesive album since "Sailing the Seas of Cheese" in my opinion the two aren't even in the same league, however, as for where Mr. Claypool wants his music to go and the sound he is going for, I dare say he's got it... Yo Ho Colonel!!!
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Topic From this Discussion
this album is only 39 minutes long.
It's 39 minutes of Claypool greatness.

What else do you need?
May 15, 2006 by Danchuro |  See all 2 posts
Whale blubber
Les Claypool is a great bass player, but not the best.
The best are Vic Wooten (check out his cd, Show of Hands), Marcus Miller, & the bass player that all other bass players seem to worship as the best, Jaco Pastorius.
Nonetheless, Les Claypool is pretty damn good!
May 16, 2006 by Amazon Customer |  See all 9 posts
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