Oops, I Did It Again
ex is naked. Underneath all of the electronics and the posturing of who has the best software plug-ins and the never ending contest of who could care less about Markus Popp’s new electronic experiment...well, there’s Cex. And he’s naked. At the beginning of his most recent LP, Oops, I Did It Again, Cex’s voice is the only thing that the listener can discern. And, well, it’s uncomfortable. He’s singing, it’s off-key, and it’s a nine grade lyric about love. Ironic? Maybe. Nostalgic? A better guess. Permeditated? Definitely.
Because this is the currency that Cex, as he will tell you incessantly at his website, is dealing in. Building himself up as a common man, one who is accessible, Cex has played a certain portion of the market of IDM (because he is firmly rooted in that aesthetic, whether he likes it or not) and played it well. It filled a need at a point when producers of music had gone so far up their own software’s ass that it became painfully obvious that someone either needed to push them all the way in or to leave them in there and start having a bit of fun outside of it.
And it’s obvious, more than anything, that Cex and the Tigerbeat crew are enjoying themselves and their moderate success. One gets the feeling that maybe, with the right song and a well timed video, that Tigerbeat6 could have a minor cross over hit. Unfortunately, you won’t find that on this record.
Instead, the record reads much like Cex’s journal on his webpage. Conflicted, yet with a large degree of promise. It’s as if Cex is scratching at the surface of something larger, much larger and is looking for the way to unlock an album that will transcend all of his previous work. On Oops I Did It Again we have the sketchpad for future ventures and possible experiments.
“I Said It Full Well...” and “First For Wounds” indicate a possible direction that mixes acoustic guitar and hip hop and IDM influenced beats. “It’s All About Guilt” and “Texas Menstruates” show that Cex may well have a future career as a successful hip hop producer for other MCs (or even himself on the upcoming Tall, Dark, and Handcuffed). “I Don’t Think You Do Sin, Julia” shows that Cex is capable of going back to the melodic beauty/hard edged beats motif of many of the tracks on Role Model. But it’s all of this, plus the strange omission of the lyrics to “Not Trying” (which became infamous on his tour) and the inclusion of the skit on “Destination: Sexy” that helps characterize this album as one that is confused, as if it is a strange amalgam of tracks, and not a cohesive album with any discernible purpose.
Rest assured, the large majority of the tracks on this album have a large amount of merit. Some of them are even great. And, as a general rule, some of the greatest albums of any genre have come when the artist is at their most confused and schizophrenic, leaving themselves open to criticism and ridicule. This isn’t one of those albums, which ultimately makes it an unessential purpose, at this point, in Cex’s catalogue. But, with time, it may become an interesting artifact as the genesis for his eventual direction.