Brown Album

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Brown Album
Studio album by Primus
Released July 8, 1997
Recorded December 1996 - April 1997 at Rancho Relaxo
Genre Alternative metal, funk metal, progressive rock, jazz fusion[1]
Length 56:54
Label Interscope, Prawn Song
Producer Primus
Primus chronology
Tales from the Punchbowl
(1995)
Brown Album
(1997)
Rhinoplasty
(1998)
Singles from Brown Album
  1. "Shake Hands with Beef"
    Released: 1997
  2. "Over the Falls"
    Released: 1997

Brown Album is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Primus. It was released on July 8, 1997. It was the band's first album with new drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia, who replaced former drummer Tim Alexander. The album has received a mixed reception from critics and fans.

Background[edit]

Brown Album was the first Primus release to not feature drummer Tim Alexander and the first to feature Bryan "Brain" Mantia. Claypool stated "Herb's departure was like a marriage that just slowly decayed to an end." "When it came down to it, we came very close to dissolving entirely, to ending Primus. I went to Ler and said, 'Look, I'm not content anymore. We've got a good thing going between us and we should probably get a new drummer.' When we talked to Herb about it, he wasn't surprised at all--in fact he seemed very relieved. He's got his own thing now. He's writing and singing [with his new band, Laundry] and he's much happier."[2] Regarding the name of the album, Claypool said "This is a milestone record for Primus so it needed to have a milestone title. The Beatles have their 'White Album,' Metallica have their 'Black Album,' now Primus have their 'Brown Album.'"[2]

Musical style[edit]

Claypool stated "Song-wise I think Brown leans back to Suck... or [1990's] Frizzle Fry". "It's a far more aggressive album than we've done in a long time. The differences between this album and [ Punch Bowl...] are far greater than the differences between this album and the very early stuff."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Les Claypool, all music composed by Primus.

No. Title Length
1. "The Return of Sathington Willoughby"   5:04
2. "Fisticuffs"   4:25
3. "Golden Boy"   3:05
4. "Over the Falls"   2:41
5. "Shake Hands with Beef"   4:02
6. "Camelback Cinema"   4:00
7. "Hats Off"   1:57
8. "Puddin' Taine"   3:37
9. "Bob's Party Time Lounge"   4:44
10. "Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread"   3:30
11. "Restin' Bones"   4:29
12. "Coddingtown"   2:52
13. "Kalamazoo"   3:31
14. "The Chastising of Renegade"   5:03
15. "Arnie"   3:54
Total length:
56:54

Personnel[edit]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly C[4]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[5]

In his review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine contends that "the replacement of drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander with Brian "Brain" Mantia doesn't affect Primus' sound in any notable way", but also notes that the album "moves Primus even further into progressive and jazz-rock territory". In conclusion, he describes Brown Album as "standard Primus – all instrumental interplay and adolescent humor – but it's delivered with more finesse and skill than ever."[3] For Entertainment Weekly, Wook Kim describes the band as "in decline" since their "satisfyingly eclectic" early albums, noting that with Brown Album they "cross that thin line between novel and novelty."[4] The San Diego Union labeled the album as "flat-sounding".[6]

Tom Moon, for Rolling Stone, describes Brown Album as "precisely the type of weirdness that Primus have been peddling for years – progressive-rock instrumentals camouflaged in the tattered rags of punk and the absurdist narratives of a junior Zappa", although he notes that the songs "all wind up sounding the same... Galumphing processionals more notable for their robotic persistence than for their musical invention." He calls the album "more accessible" in the way that it "moves away from Primus' pet herky-jerky shifts of meter long enough to establish serious, straightforward grooves", but also "more accomplished than inspired" with an "increasingly obvious soul deficit."[5] Songs from the album are rarely played live.[7]

Chart history[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Billboard 200[8] 21


Singles - Billboard

Year Single Chart Position
1997 "Shake Hands With Beef" Modern Rock Tracks #34
1997 "Over The Falls" Modern Rock Tracks #37

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-brown-album-mw0000023938
  2. ^ a b c Interview with Primus taken from BAM magazine, July 11, 1997. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  3. ^ a b "Brown Album - Primus". Allmusic. 
  4. ^ a b Kim, Wook (1997-07-11). "Brown Album Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  5. ^ a b Moon, Tom (1997-07-15). "Primus: Brown Album : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  6. ^ PRIMUS comes jammin' back "wipes away memories of 1997's aptly titled, flat-sounding "Brown Album." The San Diego Union, October 14, 1999. Retrieved March 1 2013. (subscription required)
  7. ^ August 05, 2010 (2010-08-05). "Primus/Gogol Bordello: Williamsburg Waterfront, Brooklyn, NY, 7/30/10". Glide Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Primus Billboard 200 Chart History". Billboard. 

See also[edit]