Quebec

(2003), 8/10
Ween describe Quebec as a “brown” album, which means that it tends towards murky lo-fi early Ween in places. The “brown” songs are easily outnumbered by the mature pop songs; in some ways Quebec is the quintessential Ween album since both sides of the band are strongly represented. Highlights include the decadent Motorhead inspired opener ‘It’s Gonna Be A Long Night’, the bouncy ‘Hey There Fancypants’, the seventies AOR of ‘I Don’t Want It’, the silly instrumental ‘The F**ked Jam’, and most of all the prog rock masterpiece ‘The Argus’, which would have fitted perfectly into the nautical The Mollusk and which climaxes with some beautifully melodic guitar lines. A couple of the “brown” pieces also work well; the dreamy ‘Zoloft’ and the trippy ‘Happy Coloured Marbles’ are both keepers. ‘If You Could Save Yourself (You’d Save Us All)’ is a surprisingly accurate recreation of a bile-filled Roger Waters piano ballad circa The Wall. Ween’s previous two records clocked in at around forty minutes; at fifty five Quebec could stand some trimming, but there’s still enough top drawer Ween here to satisfy any fan.

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