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Oooh La-La!

  • Crash Test Dummies
  • Deep Fried/Sony

Marshall McLuhan was a genius and Brad Roberts is one big Dummy, but the two both know that the medium is the message. And so the first album in six years from Crash Test Dummies is a product of the tool that bass-baritone front man Roberts and producer Stewart Lerman used to write it. The Optigan is a Mattel-made toy-instrument from the 1970s that uses celluloid discs for different musical themes. On the lovely and romantic Oooh La-La!, for example, Not Today is top-hatted twenties crooner-pop and Now You See Her dances to big-band champagne jazz. The playfully dark You Said You'd Meet Me (in California) seems to sample a Johnny Nash beat. It's all good fun, except for the skedaddling country-swing of What I'm Famous For, where Roberts shows off the worst John Wayne imitation ever.

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