This is not just an excellent comedy album, but an important one. Representing Hicks' ongoing battle for creative control of his material, the initially distracting use of background music works well, and was used to even greater effect on 'Rant In E-Minor': the almost 'new age' music of Marblehead Johnson contrasting with Bill's explosive delivery. 'Arizona Bay' is not Bill's best album, and contains a couple of misfires- very rare for this brilliant comic. However, there is enough scintillating material to make it a must buy: the segment on the LA Riots is amongst his very best work, a well-judged, consistently hilarious deconstruction of events: "They're on foot, you're in a truck... I think I see a way out of this!", he incredulously shouts. As with 'Relentless' and 'Rant', the noises coming from the crowd are baffling- one lady screams for close to five minutes, managing to drown out much of the dialogue, but all in all this is a marvellous record. It's also a grower, and even if the 'Elvis' skit (redundant without the visuals) falls flat, and the 'Hooligans' sketch (complete with somewhat patchy English accent) is overlong and mostly dull, the marvellous novelty of Bill's solitary "pun" (believed to be the only one he ever attempted on stage)- pigeons were behind the Kennedy assasination (he heard them saying "Coup"/"Coo") more than makes up for that. As an introduction to the work of this great man, 'Arizona Bay' is probably not your best bet- however, if you've got hold of 'Rant' and 'Relentless', this should compliment your collection admirably- it's just over an hour in duration and, providing you're not offended by jokes, and have a passable knowledge of US History 90-93, you won't be disappointed.
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