Richard Cheese

The Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese

If this is your first listen to Richard Cheese, be forewarned: too much Cheese may result in massive indigestion, and upchuck reflexes may ensue. That said, cheddar is always better when consumed in small doses. This theory especially applies when listening to Richard Cheese's new greatest hits album Sunny Side of the Moon. Cheese's collection of cover songs traverses a plethora of genres, as the Vegas-style singer performs everything from Snoop Dogg to Radiohead and Korn to Pink Floyd.

For the lounge music connoisseurs of the world, it should be known that Richard Cheese is a mile off the beaten path, with a knack for crooning obscenity-laden ditties intended to offend. Cheese borrows from Weird Al Yankovic, turning various hip-hop, rock and pop songs into comical song and dance parodies, but what he doesn't do is keep the listener in a state of laughter for the entire time. By the time Track 18 comes around, Cheese's flat voice may very well be enough to lull listeners into a catatonic state.

An upside to the album, if there is one, is that some of the original songs -- think Disturbed's "(Down With) The Sickness" and Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" -- are so bad that their cheesy strip bar melodies actually make them bearable. The comic novelty of the album has its 15 seconds on tracks like Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" and Nirvana's "Rape Me," in which the lyrics, for the first time, are discernable, and make their sheer vulgarity almost laughable. The provocative nature of his songs is really the only thing that Cheese has going for him; his unfunny limericks won't impress too many conscious listeners.

If the idea is to have a few tolerant friends over for a quiet evening of martinis, then it's very possible that Richard Cheese will suffice at setting a platonic and kooky atmosphere. But don't expect anything beyond a few cheap laughs. After about a million martinis, the world might tune in to Cheese's overly cheesy covers, but, to the sober public, they might never resonate with the world.

All in all, Richard Cheese is a concept to be seen in his leopard skin leisure jacket rather than to be heard on a full length disc. His run with comedic lounge music may need to retire as soon as the moon's sunny side quickly darkens. If today's modern lounge repertoire has to rely upon Richard Cheese, then even the most vaguely music-savvy listeners will only get Dick when they have Sinatra-like expectations. What should be expected is a finger-snapping, night-capping, martini-swigging lover of cheese. And cheese is definitely on the menu.


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