See You Next Tuesday
ike Gwen, M.I.A. or most any other hipster-approved, estrogen-fueled brand of pop music nowadays, the fivesome that is Fannypack partakes in fun-lovin’, genre-hopping pandemonium. Upon checking out See You Next Tuesday, one should expect to be graced with generous doses of party-flavored electro, teen pop, Miami bass, BK-repping street rap, dancehall, house, and high school marching band bleacher stompers.
Fannypack has an unusually configured roster, but it works fairly well. There are the two producers, “Matt” and “Fancy.” These two gentlemen are allegedly responsible for the conception, production and bulk of the songwriting for Fannypack. They’re the coaches. Then there are Cat Hartwell, Belinda Lovell and Jessibel Suthiwong, the three less homely group members. They’re the vocal contributors and “the image” of the group. They’re the drill team. Or are they?
Certain scuttlebutt avows that the girls actually do not participate in the makings of many of these records. Let’s assume that any further mentions of “the girls” could perhaps be replaced with “the girls’ respective stunt doubles.” K? K.
In any case, the vocal content has matured considerably since So Stylistic, the group’s 2003 debut. The appeal of that album was the girls’—remember our deal!—innocent-but-confident rapping and singing paired with the fellas’ clean, kitsch-tacular beat workings. This time around, the talk of dreamy guys and flavored lip balm has been replaced to some extent with darker, grittier lines about underage drinking and porking the abovementioned dreamy guys. It seems our girls have grown up.
New-found maturation aside, See You Next Tuesday is just as vibrant with yummy, carefree party songs as So Stylistic. Each track tends to have its own genus without escaping from the overall theme of the album. The record amasses the best moments of the disposable, party-oriented urban musics of the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s. And unlike the fivesome’s debut, this record speaks not only to the pop-savvy nostalgia snobs, but to oblivious youth culture as well.
The slapstick Brooklyn anthem “Seven One Eight” features a peculiar country-fried beat orientation and harmonica sample. Production-wise, it’s probably the simplest of all the Fannypack tunes, new and old, but it’s also one of the catchiest. Observe: “BK, is you wit’ me, New York City / Everywhere else, you can suck upon my titties / Eat a Big Mac and go to hell…” All of See You Next Tuesday’s lyrical content, whether it be slap bracelets or male strip clubs, is not meant to be taken too seriously. All save the album’s closer, “Not This.” The track in question is the only song in Fannypack history to be dark or contemplative. It features group MC Belinda going into somewhat disturbing detail about her drug addiction and alcoholism. (On second thought, further scuttlebutt would have me believe that the track deals with a different individual’s drug addiction and alcoholism, but we’ll save that for an interview or something.)
Aside from the token bummer track, the rest of the album is as stupid fun as stupid fun gets. “Keep It Up” seems to be specifically designed for high school basketball halftime show backdrops. Samples of dribbles, snare rolls and sneaker squeaks against freshly mopped wood paneling create an uncanny aura of pom-poms flourishing and school colors glistening atop the girls’ up-tempo dance instructions. The TRL-ready “Feet and Hands” harnesses a similar theme, applying bleacher stomps, crowd claps, drill whistles and cheesy pop-rap horn pads to superbly edgy and witty rhymes. It features what is easily the best couple of lines on the record: “Always wanna punch people wearin’ Von Dutch / Trucker hats, oh Lord, I hate ‘em so much / But anyway, let’s just get it back gutter / Dirty-ass street shit to make me shutter.”
STYLUSMAGAZINE.COM’S ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MAY 9 – MAY 15, 2005
Reviewed by: Will Simmons
Reviewed on: 2005-05-09