New Album Review

88.1 Pick of the Week 1/29

Champagne Champagne
Album: Champagne Champagne
by: Jose Jose

Champagne Champagne’s debut album finally got released for purchase and download this month, and it rises to every bit of anticipation that was generated by their earlier EP.  The group, comprised of Pearl Dragon, Sir Thomas Gray, and DJ Gajamagic [Mark Gajadhar from the pop-metal band The Bloodbrothers], composed a great mix of dancified hip-hop that is overflowing with themes of love, lust, and reckless disregard for anyone that would get in their way. The album takes your soul from the depths of betrayal to ecstatic party mode, and you’ll be nodding your head to the beat the entire time.

The first track, “Soda & Pop Rocks”, strikes out with a deep, pounding bass that sets the mood for the whole album. The song is a shout-out to the hoods of Seattle, so as you’re tapping your feet to the beat Pearl Dragon calls out: “in the CD [Central District] bumpin’ CD’s/ my city’s not pretty, it’s gritty.” He makes it clear that no one can stop them from “blowing up like soda and pop rocks.”  They carry the aggressiveness and determination of S&PR into “Radio Raheem” and depict the struggle their friends and family have been put through by violent police actions. The distorted guitar in the back only adds to the gritty reality of Seattle painted in S&RP.

Most of the album, however, is about girls. “Molly Ringwald” is a slow dance tune with spaced out and trippy synths behind it in which GajaMagic sings about his love of a girl that looks similar to Molly Ringwald. It turns out to be so sad because after a one-night stand she never talks to him again. The pain doesn’t stop there, though. In “Cover Girls” Pearl Dragon rhymes about a girl he dated that cheated on him with his friends. The synths and haunting backing vocals make it very heartfelt and depressing when he says ”I didn’t know that you could be influenced by some other guy/ every time I look into your eyes I know it’s a lie.” Insult is added to injury when, later in the song, the girl comes back only to give him “what she gave every other guy – the clap.” After hearing this song, it’s obvious that Pearl Dragon never wants to love another woman.

The group has no qualms about hooking up with girls, though, because in “Champagne Loves Your Brain” they aren’t talking about your intellect.  The quick bass and playful guitar will have you bouncing again as you hear about the group’s physical desires. They aren’t selfish, though, as evidenced in “What’s Your Fantasy.” Over a funky bass and seductive saxophone, every sexy girl gets an account of the services they could receive, which sounds quite extensive.

It is quite clear from their name and album cover that Champagne Champagne is simply trying to have a good time. This album shows that even with a broken heart or police trouble you can still dance and live your life like a party.