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What You See Is What You Get ( WYSIWYG )

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

WYSIWYG by Chumbawamba

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Chumbawamba became a household name in 1997 with the success of the working-class salute "Tubthumping," introducing the world to the Leeds, England-based band and their communal-living ethics. The follow-up, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), lacks a muscular mug-swinging anthem to rival its predecessor, but it still delivers repeated potshots to plenty of politically incorrect high-profilers. While their 1986 debut, Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, stampeded out of the gate pointing an accusatory finger at alleged Live Aid bandwagon jumpers, their stance on WYSIWYG seems far more tame. There is no lack of evil in the year 2000, but jabbing at everything from technology monoliths to the fashion world to Jerry Springer hardly raises an eyebrow. Even their mockery of Christianity ("Jesus in Vegas") seems passé. Regardless, the absence of heavy-handedness makes for a respectable collection of socially minded pop vignettes, perfect for those who enjoy their antiestablishment rhetoric served up with a snicker rather than a scream. --Beth Massa
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 4, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: April 4, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Records
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004S88I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,284 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Seth Hauser on April 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If the only song you have ever heard by Chumbawamba is Tubthumpinng, and if you think the name of that song is actually "I Get Knocked Down", then this album is NOT for you. If you bought the Tubthumper album and hated it, then why the heck are you reading this review?
If you are still here, that must mean you know a little someething about Chumbawamba. This album is pretty typical of previous albums, though Chumba fans will tell you that no two albums are really all that similar. WYSIWYG is a blend of Brit pop and punk, with the occasional violin throw in for good measure. Most of the tracks are 2 minutes or less (enhancing the punk feel of brief songs), and the album plays almost like one continuous shifting tune rather than 22 individual ones. "She's Got All the Friends" is the most Tubthumper-esque song, which explains why it's supposed to be the new US radio hit.
Overall, it's a good album, worthy of a purchase if you're a true fan. It ranks up there with "Anarchy" and "Shhh", but is truly in a class by itself. However, I know for a fact that Tubthumper was not a huge hit in this country and I doubt that WYSISYG will fare much better. That's just because this nation thinks Korn and Limp Bizkit or N'Sync and Britney Spears are the only "listenable" forms of music.
Regardless, true Chumba fans, no matter where in the world you are, will dig this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Although many casual radio listeners have written off Chumbawamba as one-hit wonder now that the anarchist ensemble's "Tubthumping" has started to fade from airwaves, movie trailers, and sports highlights clips, long-time fans might recall that the group's artistic apex came more than a decade ago. On albums such as Pictures of Starving Children Sell Millions and Never Mind The Ballots, Chumbawamba combined Crass' art-punk and radical discourse with Peter, Paul, and Mary-style harmonies. Later, the group replaced high-speed drum beats with mellow programmed dance rhythms, and while some cried "Judas" and abandoned it immediately, others decided to wait to see where Chumbawamba was heading with this seeming concession to the mainstream. In interviews, various members of the group explained that they were looking to reach a wider audience, to bring its political ideology into the Walkmans of mall-shopping pop fans rather than continuing to preach to the converted at packed punk clubs. The plan succeeded, as its latest album went multi-platinum while inspiring television shows and magazines to offer its members a forum to share their beliefs. However, with the group's follow-up WYSIWYG, the question becomes: Is anyone still listening? If not, it's their loss. WYSIWYG is an amazing collection of 22 compact tunes that pair caustic commentary and cheery music in a manner reminiscent of The Smiths. The album's first single, "She's Got All The Friends," sees the band unloading on an easy target (popular rich girls), but its abundant pop hooks and ingenious doo-wop interlude make it easy to forget the tune's relatively uncreative subject matter.Read more ›
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By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
With it's chorus of "I get knocked down/but I get up again," Chumbawamba's smash hit "Tubthumping," birthed from the album of the same name, was utilized across the spectrum in 1997 - from sporting events to political rallies, championing the spirit of the underdog every step of the way. It's a shame that not everybody was able to get past the fervor of those ten syllables and savor the tune for what it really was - a spirited ode to a drunken night at an English pub. After all, the rest of that album's cheerful pop was merely an innocuous façade (albeit ho-hum) for the lyrical volleys of an octet of self-described anarchists. The band's new album, "WYSIWYG" (an abbreviated "What You See is What You Get"), is a slightly more successful attempt at marrying pop music conventions with pop culture observations, if only because the oft snickerable diatribes are laced with a bit more lounge-savvy shtick. It's a combo that works well when reflecting on the "white boy bands" of "I'm With Stupid" ("Everything is bland/until the singer gets a habit") or the Happy Meal-lifestyles of "I'm in Trouble Again." Despite coming stocked with the song title of the year ("The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Jerry Springer"), the album's second half is a bit tedious, as the social barbs tend to be better cooked than the musical stylings (see "Jesus in Vegas"), which often come served with the panache of a Denny's side-dish. Still, "WYSIWYG" brims with enough insurgent mojo to keep Chumbawamba from being written off as one-hit wonders just yet - but VH1 is knocking, mind you.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album makes me think of Zappa's We're Only In It For The Money.

Less unsettling and a bit more pat and one-sided in its skewering, but of the same ilk...

Loses steam after "Jesus in Vegas" though. The first half, though, is stellar. Other highlights: the first three tracks and the infectious, sample-driven "I'm In Trouble Again."
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