Thursday, March 29, 2012

Milli Vanilli - All or Nothing

When you grow up in a small town, you tend to catch trends after they've either stopped altogether in the big cities or have become so commonplace they are no longer trendy. In the pre-internet years it was a complete chore to have any semblance of coolness if you lived in a small town.

My sister picked this album up on cassette right before Milli Vanilli were exposed as frauds and run out of town on a rail. Their story is a cautionary tale that has absolutely no bearing on the world in which we now live. Very few pop stars actually sing their music live in 2012. Most of them can't sing at all and rely on autotune to compensate for their lack of skill. If Rob and Fab came along in 2012, they would be bigger than the black eyed peas (a group I hate so much I refuse to capitalize their name. If I have to hear about what a great night they think tonight is gonna be one more time....(now picture me doing a really good Jackie Gleason impression)) Oh, and while I'm making ridiculous parenthetical statements, here's one I've always wanted to make: (Ever since a friend introduced me to Scott Weinrich, I've been a bog doom metal fan (Even though most of my doom metal is Scott Weinrich projects, there's one non-Scott Weinrich band that I really like (Sunn 0))). That's good writing right there. Not only did I use Sunn 0)))'s name correctly in a multi-parenthetical statement, I did it in the middle of a review of a Milli Vanilli album. I should get this entry bronzed.

So yeah, Milli Vanilli got pegged for being fake because we couldn't abide it in 1989. What they got busted for would blow over in a single week in 2012, and that's if it's a slow news week and the media needs to pick on someone. Anyway, the copy of this album that I own came out post-scandal. You can tell by the little sticker in the lower right hand corner that lists the names of the actual musicians and give Rob and Fab credit for, "Featured Visual Performances." We're far enough into this review that I really should give my take on the whole issue because I haven't heard a lot of people say it.

I still love Milli Vanilli. They were like nothing else at the time. You had these two super ethnic dudes (chiseled black guys from Germany?! How many of those have there been in the history of time?) that were churning out this crazy highly danceable yet romantic enough for a mixtape music. Whoever made this music was bona fide awesome. I remember the day after Milli Vanilli got busted I was listening to All Or Nothing on my old Sony Walkman (Which I still own to this day. It still works and I still love it) and a friend asked me what I was listening to. I told him it was Milli Vanilli and he almost laughed me off the block. He explained that they were frauds, and I tried to play the "Yeah, but the music's still good, right?" card. It was no dice. I sauntered away shamefully. I stopped listening to Milli Vanilli after that, but picked it back up in the early 00's when I came across this album in a thrift store. I originally intended it to be a "This guy has this sucky album on display as part of his collection? He must have serious cred!" purchase, but it turned into a serious purchase when I realized that after all this time I still dig Milli Vanilli. If you have read any of the entries in this blog, you'll know that I have a higher than average sentimentality and indulge in nostalgia a little too often. There is a definite nostalgic element to All Or Nothing, but I genuinely think I enjoy this music on its own merit. I know this is not a tremendously popular opinion (or it might be. I never hear people talk about Milli Vanilli anymore. Maybe it's because I don't have VH1 and wouldn't watch it if I did). Let's end this review as off-topic as it began.

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