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This is an incredibly varied album, sometimes hysterically funny as on the title track, but always cerebral, thought-provoking and strangely captivating. It's awash with clever samples that definitely contribute to the ambience and the weirdness.
There are gentle ballads like Great Radio, What If and their cover of Kisses Sweeter Than Wine. Chicken Pussy is a bizarre sound collage with hilarious spoken lyrics while White Rental Car Blues sounds like a sweet soul song if you ignore the suggestive lyrics.
Nick Cave Dolls starts with those weird samples, a guy talking about the name of the band plus random snatches of conversation and noise, before Ann's wistful voice takes up a surrealistic tale of a stroll through the city while sending up a variety of stereotypes.
On Bedazzled she turns into Marlene Dietrich or similar European sultry chanteuse in a conversation/talk and response format with the other voices. The next one, Obscene & Pornographic Art, is a literate and witty observation of a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that'll have you in stitches, especially the "suffragette song."
A robotic, laconic male vocal narrates the tale of a visit to a strange game room over ominous warbling guitar sounds on What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy, while Junior kicks off with raucous guitar and turns into a love song with Ann's dreamy vocalising.
This amazing album's tour de force is the astonishing Folk Song, all 11 minutes of it, where Magnuson's voice really gets a chance to soar. It deals with inter alia anarchists, sexual politics, media networks and refers to anthropologist Joseph Campbell in this most beautiful chorus: "Joseph Campbell gave me hope and now I have been saved/So I sing hello death, goodbye Avenue A."
As the song progresses, Ann sings abut health food, Dr Suess, religion, TV series, movies, politics, taking mushrooms at Joshua Tree, Carlos Castaneda, Berlin Alexanderplatz, the feelgood movie of the decade and many other things, before ending with those beautiful lines again: "Hello death, goodbye Avenue A." Phew! Not many songs in the history of popular music can encompass so many things and still remain cohesive.
This is one of the most intelligent rock albums I've ever had the pleasure of hearing, brimful of melodic twists and turns, with gripping lyrics, brilliant instrumentation and vivid imagery. I know Ann Magnuson is now a successful actress, but I'm surprised she's not a famous author too, judging by her talent for satire and moving imagery.
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on 30 November 2009
If Bongwater don't put a smile on your face nothing will. Take the Butthole Surfers perverse sense of humour, musical influences ranging from classic rock/psychedelia to folk, add Ann Magnusons sexy vocals and great lyrics and you've got the mighty 'The Power of Pussy'. What's great about it is how well it works as an album, from the opening title track to the nine minutes of genius that make up 'Folk Song' it's an album that really demands your attention. One of the albums prominent themes and obsessions seems to be sex and all things sexual. So there's the taboo straddling 'Chicken Pussy', the Manga referencing 'Women tied up in Knots' and the brilliantly titled 'What kind of man reads Playboy?'.'Nick Cave Dolls' is one of my personal favourites with Magnusons wonderfully odd lyrics perfectly set to an absorbing psychedelic march. Don't be fooled into thinking this is some kind of novelty record though, 'The Power of Pussy' is a truly unique and impressive album. You may have heard of Magnusons partner in crime Mark Kramer (or just Kramer), the producer/musician who worked on all those great Galaxie 500 albums. There was a list of great 'lost' albums in a recent NME, to me 'The Power of Pussy' needs to be added- a classic just waiting to be found...
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on 21 October 2010
I first heard this album in the 90's and was blown away with its unique maverick spirit. It must be one of the best recordings of the 90's.
it is both funny and intelligent at the same time.
I always go back to this record.
I would recommend this to fans of indie music looking for something different.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is an incredibly varied album, sometimes hysterically funny as on the title track, but always cerebral, thought-provoking and strangely captivating. It's awash with clever samples that definitely contribute to the ambience and the weirdness.

There are gentle ballads like Great Radio, What If and their cover of Kisses Sweeter Than Wine. Chicken Pussy is a bizarre sound collage with hilarious spoken lyrics while White Rental Car Blues sounds like a sweet soul song if you ignore the suggestive lyrics.

Nick Cave Dolls starts with those weird samples, a guy talking about the name of the band plus random snatches of conversation and noise, before Ann's wistful voice takes up a surrealistic tale of a stroll through the city while sending up a variety of stereotypes.

On Bedazzled she turns into Marlene Dietrich or similar European sultry chanteuse in a conversation/talk and response format with the other voices. The next one, Obscene & Pornographic Art, is a literate and witty observation of a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that'll have you in stitches, especially the "suffragette song" segment.

A robotic, laconic male vocal narrates the tale of a visit to a strange game room over ominous warbling guitar sounds on What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy, while Junior kicks off with raucous guitar and turns into a love song with Ann's dreamy vocalising which also graces the wall-of-sound rock song Connie. The reference to "four wild Rednecks" at the start of I Need A New Tape raises a smile.

This amazing album's tour de force is the astonishing Folk Song, all 9+ minutes of it, where her voice really soars. It deals with inter alia anarchists, sexual politics, media networks, the Butthole Surfers, Giorgio Armani, Romeo Gigli and refers to anthropologist Joseph Campbell in this most beautiful chorus: "Joseph Campbell gave me hope and now I have been saved/So I sing hello death, goodbye Avenue A."

As the song progresses, Ann sings abut health food, Dr Suess, religion, TV series, movies, politics, taking mushrooms at Joshua Tree where Gram Parsons died, Berlin Alexanderplatz,Carlos Castaneda, Led Zeppelin, the feelgood movie of the decade and many other things, before ending with those beautiful lines again: "Hello death, goodbye Avenue A." Phew! Not many songs in the history of popular music can encompass so many things and still remain cohesive.

This is one of the most intelligent rock albums I've ever had the pleasure of hearing, brimful with melodic twists and turns, with gripping lyrics, brilliant instrumentation and vivid imagery. I know Ann Magnuson is now a successful actress, but I'm surprised she's not a famous author too, judging by her talent for satire and moving imagery.
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on 9 December 2016
Cracking album, at a good price.
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