Album Review: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) - 'Let It Be Blue'
Updated: May 4
Oh, it’s spring! The Forsythia bloomed; the daffodils popped, and crazed customers rushed to Lowes for the first mulch sale of the year. The sun, the warmth, the joy. I feel so good . . .
Love is in the air, everywhere I look around Love is in the air, every sight and every sound And I don’t know if I’m being foolish Don’t know if I’m being wise But it’s something that I must believe in And it’s there when I look in your eyes
Wait. Hold up. I’m writing about the release of the new !!! (Chk Chk Chk) album Let it Be Blue, and this is not one of their songs. You know. The band that sang, “Oh my god, did I just say that out loud?/Should’ve known this was the kind of place/That that sort of thing just wasn’t allowed/Should’ve known by the color of the drapes.” You say you don’t remember those lyrics. Ok. How about, “Like I give a fuck, like I give a shit/Like I give a fuck about that shit/Like I give a fuck about that motherfucking shit”? It’s out of context. I get it. But just so you know, that’s “Pardon My Freedom” from their first album Louden Up Now. It’s also in the Netflix movie The Bubble.
Let’s try another song. This is the most popular song for !!! on Spotify.
Friends told her she was better off At the bottom of a river Than in a bed with him He said until you try both You won’t know what you like better Why don’t we go for a swim?
These are the opening lyrics for “Even When The Water’s Cold” from !!!’s 2013 album Thriller.
Because I like this game, I’ll do one more. A single from 2020, it was the last song played at my and my wife’s wedding. Cue the lyrics, por favor.
I don’t wanna go out
I don’t wanna go out
I wanna stay here with you
Not at all, I wanna stay here with you
So we can fuck
So we can fuck
Fair enough. I’ll stop, but why am I doing this? Because Let It Be Blue is a love album. However, I have not figured out if it is satire, genuine, or a pop album because the last song is titled, “This is Pop 2.” (The actual number two suggests that the band has done another version of “This Is Pop,” but it could also indicate that this album is pop music even though the industry would never give it radio play like other pop albums.)
“Normal People” is the perfect opener for this album. Listen to it. It is beautiful. For those who feel out of place or feel like they do not fit in, well, !!! says you are ok. Your feelings and actions are those of normal, successful people, like Nic Offer.
"A Little Bit (More)” is what I expected when I asked to write this review. It has the bass, the pace, and the clever lyrics. Yes, I can dance to it, and I hope I get to when I see them in Philly on 6/11.
“Storm Around The World (feat. Maria Uzor)” has some of the sweetest lyrics. Although I have been listening to Let It Be Blue since February 24th, I could not figure out what I wanted to say. Yet, when Camélia and I were driving to go for a hike this past Saturday, I played this song in the car. It hit me right, and I thought they were in love.
When you sleep
in the bed in the house
where we live
and I’m far away
I am with you even still
I love it. Total romance.
“Un Puente (feat. Angelica Garcia)” is in Spanish, but the title means a bridge. “Here’s What I Need To Know” is the breakup song. “Panama Canal (feat. Meah Pace)” and “Man On The Moon (feat. Meah Pace)” are more of the !!! sound that helps make this album digestible for fans looking for some of that Post-Punk/Dance.
“Let It Be Blue” is the catchy poppish song on the album. It is followed by “It’s Grey, It’s Grey (It’s Grey).” This song brings back the humor that drew me to this band. Clever lyrics and strange/atypical sounds. Conflicting emotions. Driving. Pounding. But happy. I don’t know what the f**k I’m talking about.
With a romantic undertone, “Crazy Talk” is another one of those love songs. Maybe not one hundred percent, but remember, “different types of love are possible.” I know, wrong band and song, but still.
Ok. Here we are. The final song of the album. Maybe I’ll stop writing. Maybe not. Who knows. Anyway, “This is Pop 2.” This is where I get confused. Not because !!! did something wrong. But listen to the lyrics. Are they denying everything that we experienced in the first ten songs? No. Of course not. It’s like LCD Soundsystem’s “You Wanted A Hit.” False modesty? Humor? Post-Punk? !!! (Chk Chk Chk) has been making music for over two decades. They are smart, even if they would never admit to it.
Final Thought: Let It Be Blue is an album with a lot of emotion. While I think that younger listeners might prefer the “Pardon My Freedom” style !!!, I am an adult man listening to adult musicians. When I was in my twenties, I realized I liked listening to the early music that bands produced. I loved the Grateful Dead of the late 1960s. The same goes with Pink Floyd; I spent years with the early obscure stuff because I could not handle the weight of Animals. But here is a band opening up and allowing themselves to be vulnerable. That is the strength, the romance, the nostalgia behind Let It Be Blue.
Favorite Songs: “Normal People,” “Storm Around The World (feat. Maria Garcia),” and “Crazy Talk”
Rating - 5/5. Because the opening song “Normal People” sets off this album to be in contention for one of the top albums of the year