Customer Reviews: Chocolate & Cheese
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on September 25, 2003
I just got Quebec and it reminded me of a funny Ween related story (one of many. just kidding). Back when the olympics were in Atlanta, my granpa bought some tickets to scalp, and drove from L.A. all the way to Georgia. The trip got pretty boring, so they grabbed the only tape they could find in the car. It happened to be Ween's Chocolate and CHeese, that I had left days before. Apparently they listened to it repeatedly, hour after hour. THey came home singing "Buenas Tardes Amigos" and "Joppa Road", wanting to know who was behind this masterpiece of an album.
If this isn't a testament to the univeral beauty of Ween, I don't know what is.
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on October 1, 2004
1994's "Chocolate & Cheese" is arguably Ween's finest moment in their career. You may be a little puzzled with Ween's unique brand of music if you've only heard albums such as "GodWeenSatan: The Oneness", "The Pod", or "Pure Guava". Those are their earlier album, which are masterpieces, but very much like "Mr. Bungle" or "Captain Beefheart", material like that can be kind of hard to swallow at first listen, or it might scare you away. The love for their earlier albums will come with how you feel about this album, or one of their more recent albums. The first time I heard "GodWeenSatan: The Oneness" I didn't like it; now it's my favorite Ween album (actually, all of their albums are too great to pick a favorite). After I heard "Chocolate & Cheese" I was hooked; and after getting into "The Mollusk" immediately after, the only way I can describe Ween to anybody that asks me about them, is that they're the greatest band on earth.

"Chocolate & Cheese" provides so much variety, that it is sure to hook you like a fish, no matter what your tastes may be. They have amazingly witty and unique songwriting. The vocals go from high falsetto notes, deep rumbling tones, Spanish vocal tones, country vocal tones, and an insane amount of vocal filters; all conveying that Ween is one of a kind from the get-go. Although Gene and Dean both play guitar, Dean tears it up on lead guitar, throwing in solos and stylish riffs throughout the album. All of these traits shows that Ween has true talent that is easily understood shortly after the album begins. Those of you that have heard albums like "The Pod" or "Pure Guava" can understand why a first time listener would dismiss Ween if they are scared off by songs like "Reggaejunkiejew". Another thing that makes "Chocolate and Cheese" more gettable at first listen is because it has a very classic rock feel to it. It is obvious that much of the guitar playing and vocals are influenced by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Queen, Talking Heads, Bruce Springsteen and Prince.

The reason that people love Ween so much is because you can't nail them down on a single genre or style. They may be labeled as Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi or Comedy Rock, but they are much more multi-faceted than that (they even made a country album). Their music varies so much from album to album, let alone song to song. There moods vary as follows: Giddy, Ironic, Quirky, Rollicking, Freewheeling, Humorous, Raucous, Messy, Rousing, Rowdy, Trippy, Fun, Wry, Campy, Witty, Silly, Irreverent, Sprawling, Meandering, Uncompromising, Indulgent, Enigmatic, Gleeful, Reckless, Druggy, Joyous and Playful.

Some standout tracks include "Take Me Away", which has a classic rock feel to it, the creepy, but funny "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)", the falsetto soul flavored "Freedom of '76", the crazed stomp of "I Can't Put My Finger on It", the psychedelic, but chill "A Tear for Eddie", "Baby Bitch" a wry and weird song about an ex-girlfriend, the very creepy "Mister Would You Please Help My Pony?", the pseudo-country style "Drifter in the Dark", "Voodoo Lady" the only song you probably heard in a movie before (Road Trip, Dude, Where's My Car), the epic story-telling "Buenas Tardes Amigo", the silly "The H.I.V. Song", and the British psych-inspired "What Deaner Was Talking About".

There. How can't you give Ween a shot after all that. ^^^
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on April 3, 2001
At first it's easy to dismiss Ween as a novelty act. With crazy lyrics and a galaxy of bizzar effects, Ween comes off as a goof, nothing more nothing less. Yet, as you delve deeper into the complexity and sheer song writing talent of Dean and Gene Ween (not their real names) you begin to realize that these guys are musical geniuses, pure and simple. "Chocolate and Cheese" explores an entire catologue of music genres. From the soulful "Freedom of '76", to the funky "Voodoo Lady", to the trippy "Tear for Eddie" to the silly, yet enchanting "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony". I'll admit I was sceptical at first, knowing nothing of Ween except the insane "Push Th' Little Daisies" video I had seen a few times on MTV. After a few listens I began to realize what a musical masterpiece this album truly is. Any serious music fan would be doing themselves a favor by purchasing this album.
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on May 8, 2000
Deconstructing and reassembling more musical genres than ever before, Ween prove that they can evolve from rambling like lunatics on a Tascam recorder to rambling like lunatics in a professional studio atmosphere without losing their special touch. The greatest thing about the brothers Ween is that they can ramble on about the most bizzare & twisted crackpot ideas while having a keen sense of humor, too. Because "C&C" is also an eclectic mix(or de-mix) of funk, alternative rock, 70's prog rock, Philly Soul, acoustic pop, Prince-style bubblegum pop, folk, Cowboy-drifter ballads, "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" inspired Spanish folk, and their own offbeat style, it is one of the best of their collection to get if you want to try them out. Once you have heard it, you will want to dive deeper into their world, and get all their other albums...except maybe "12 GCG" and "White Pepper" which lack their creativeness. If you do choose to get those, make them the last on your list (You might even want to get the rare, cassette-only independent 80's releases before those two). All in all, this is a great album.
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on March 17, 2005
Strangely, the production values on "Chocolate & Cheese" were turned up many notches. Now, Ween sounds like an actual band as opposed to two stoners with a drum machine and a 4-track. Luckily, their humor is still in tact.

The band flies through genre after genre on this 14 track effort. There's lounge rock ("Take Me Away"), smooth Philly soul ("Freedom of '76" - and yes, Gene Ween has a surprisingly good falsetto), Pink Floyd-like psychedelia ("A Tear for Eddie"), Spaghetti-western epics ("Buenos Tardes Amigos"), lush soft rock ("Joppa Road"), cheesy 70's pop ("What Deaner Was Talkin' About"), and country/folk ("Drifter in the Dark").

Wait. There's more. "Roses Are Free" is one of the best Prince pastiches ever; It's a wickedly catchy pop song that sounds straight out of the "Around the World in a Day"-era. And "Voodoo Lady" is part funk, part disco, part pop, with a little Caribbean flavor thrown in. It's a classic.

And, the album wouldn't be complete without Ween's own brand of gonzo, tasteless (yet hilarious) pop songs such as "Spinal Meningitis", "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony", "Candi", "The H.I.V. Song", and the Middle Eastern-tinged "I Can't Put My Finger On It".

Some people may have been disappointed in Ween's sleeker sound, but it's hard not to love "Chocolate & Cheese", because it's clear at this point that they're getting really really good - both musically, and at writing catchy pop songs.
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Ween remind me of Frank Zappa: not that they have that massive musical ability, but that behind the jokes, there is a lot of subtance.

And if Ween does not come to Zappa's level, that's fine. No one else in rock does either. But Ween can do it all: mock cocktail, philly soul, straight rock, country, sea chanties, and jazz. If they are not geniuses, they are master stylists, and this is more than enough.

Ween has more focused albums than Chocolate and Cheese, but this is why this one is my favorate. It it there White Album; a sprawling afair where these wonderful wiseasses can strut ALL there stuff--and that ALL is A LOT.

It is not just that this band plays almost anything: it is that they can take that anything and radiate its essence. Listen to the first track; they say "thank ya, thank ya." in the fake Vagas show tone the song it set. "Freedom Of '76" is Philly soul, and when I first heard it-before I knew who it was--I was searching 1970s soul distographies, trying to find out if some obscure band from Gamble and Huff's stable did the number. Any style you like, Ween can do it as well or better than anyone else.

One qualifer. I love satire and good sick joke, but the screaming little girl on "Spinal Menangitas" just rubs me the wrong way. I can't find any irony or higher message in the song, and sick little kids in pain is just not funny--and I am not even a dad. What Ween should have done is made themselves, or a dictator or TV evangelist the infected. But not a cute little tot. If I am missing the point, please leave me a comment: I'd love to be able to enjoy this as the music is so good.

So are Ween, and guys, this set is so good, I'll forgive the spinal tap.
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on October 17, 2000
This is definitely the finest piece of music released in the '90's, and perhaps the best CD ever!! While I must admit a statement like that puts Ween in comparison with some of the greatest bands ever, it is deservedly so! By releasing this album, the brothers Ween have proven, without a doubt, what unbelieveably diversified musicians they are. The first five songs on this album prove this point. Song 1: "Take Me Away" shows a very stong, rock 'n roll side of Ween, it has an awesome bar band sound to it that rocks. Song 2: "Spinal Meningitis" is a very soft, eerie, thoughtful song that isn't exactly uplifitng but once again shows the diveristy that is Ween. Song 3: "Freedom of '76" Is a fabulous song that has a smooth, velvety feel to it, the lyrics are sung with such beautiful soul, it is great. Song 4: "I Can't Put My Finger On It" Is a classic weird Ween song that will grow on anyone who listens to it, an instant classic. Song 5: "A Tear for Eddie" Is a fantastic, melodic, instrumental song that takes the listener to a very nice place. This album is purely a magical experience, a little slice of musical brillance that is not widely known of in the world of "popular" music. Every song on this CD is a masterpiece of music making, I would strongly suggest this CD to everyone and anyone. With such strong critics as Henry Rollins supporting the Ween movement, and bands such as Phish covering their tunes, Ween will soon one day take over the universe of stale, boring music that we seem to be currently bogged down in!!!
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on June 13, 2010
So good, very good. I don't what these guys were smokin', inhalin', eating and/or drinking when they conceived this masterpiece...but I want some.

I don't know about you but I had fun from the get go with this album and have never gotten tired of it since. From beginning to end there is something different happening. I imagine any listener will get something from this if they listen to the whole entire album. Mostly there is humor, but there is certainly so much more and it is just hard to classify this in any kind of way(much like it's creators), which I like.

Definately the best thing these two whackjobs ever put together, and they usually do very well. I mean what better way to say "I am not going to miss those brain cells" when something like this is produced in the process? Absolutely perfect! And if you like this one, try 'the Mollusk'. But I warn thee, it get's a right bit salty sea-sickly. Anything earlier than these albums can get a little painful for the average listener, though I still enjoy.
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on December 16, 1999
This is not only the best Ween album, but the best CD I have ever heard. Go ahead -- laugh, scoff even. But it is not only musically untouchable, it is a satire so biting, it leaves even the most stoic listener breaking into a smile. Also, the best live band around. If you have any sort of musical taste of sense of humor at all, this sill be the best buy you have made in a long time.
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on September 5, 2000
Ween's productions are so diverse that it can be hard to compare them to each other, but this album is probably their most consistently excellent release. They are still is the stage where they do not stick to any specific style, and often even transcend the very idea of "music style". They have developed into master musicians, which lends more authority to their irreverenvce (you need to learn the rules before you can elegantly break them). All of the songs are well- produced and refined. Perhaps they have already begun to lose some of their raw edginess that endeared them to their earlier fans, but they can still hit pretty hard on this one. The first time I heard "Spinal Meningitis" I was a little spooked, but Dean's guitar work later made this one of my favorites.
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