Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #71 Dandy Warhols - 13 Tales of Urban Bohemia
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#71 Dandy Warhols - Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia
Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia provided a soundtrack for my life for a couple months back in 2000. It's one of those tyrannically catchy albums that won't leave your head. It changes the way you walk and talk, emanates from Chucks and follows you to the bathroom. It will only be exercised out of the soul through constant, repetitive listening.
Thirteen Tales is a relentless rock satori, packed like a junk shop with popular music references that stretch from The Rolling Stones to ambient electronica. As with all Dandy Warhol efforts, it has its share of layered, hook-filled rock anthems ("Godless", "Bohemian Like You", etc.). But the Dandies often slyly alter common pop rock structures, stopping in odd places, or assembling themes out of ambient noise. Many of these songs innovatively build more like dance tracks ("The Gospel"), slowly conjuring ethereal, textured environments out of the semi-psychedelic chord repetitions ("Godless", "Mohammed").
Thirteen Tales also takes a scalpel to the banal lyrical content of the typical rock fare. (To quickly appreciate the sarcasm the runs through this album, just note that the first three songs are titled "Godless", "Mohammed", and "Nietzsche".) It's loaded with lyrics that poke sardonic fun at cultural icons, such as the album's big hit "Bohemian Like You". The song continually transposes the usual pop song "love" term with "like" (making the song's title a double entendre). Vegan food and hairdos are loved, people are liked. Skewering hipsterism is one laugh among many here. We also visit former trophy wifes, outcasts, backpackers, jilted lovers, atheists, and idlers - like them, you'll love this album.