Yes, that is seriously the title. But for the sake of brevity, we'll just say "Riding a Black Unicorn" from now on since that's what the actual song title is too.
(Aurelio) Voltaire - Riding a Black Unicorn, etc...
Year of release: 2011
Awesome album art by Daarken (Seriously, his stuff is awesome. This cover is just one example.)
Buy it here!!
Let it be known - I FUCKING LOVE VOLTAIRE.
So yes, this review is biased - but I still have reasons for putting it up since I still have opinions on the songs, and I also wish to state how I feel about the direction his music has gone.
Voltaire fans may have noticed this, but over the past few years - Voltaire has become very experimental and messed with various new themes. "Ooky Spooky" had a strong Mexican theme, To the Bottom of the Sea kinda speaks for itself, and Hate Lives in a Small Town was.. erm, country western for some reason. Yeah - I'll admit, even though it's not a bad country album it's easily my least favourite Voltaire album since I'm not huge on Country Western. "Riding a Black Unicorn" ends his experimentation, for better or for worse. I like an artist who is progressive and experimental, but I'd be lying if I said I wanted an album that went back to form - and "Riding a Black Unicorn" goes back to form, comparable mostly to "Almost Human" or "Boo Hoo." It is admittedly lacking in some of the maudlin tracks Voltaire likes to make, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing - even though his sadder sounding songs can be quite beautiful, I like his dark humour more - and this has arguably some of his most grim and bizarre tracks. "Cathouse Tragedy" alone manages to top "Zombie Prostitute" and "Dead Girls" in fucked up-edness, and while it isn't my favourite track on the album - it does put a weird smile. "The Straight Razor Cabaret" is pretty twisted too, and is actually one of my favourite tracks on the album and one of the catchiest.
Most of the tracks on this album are hits, so it is hard to pick favourites and there wasn't a song I truly "hated" on this album - though this is how I'd rank the tracks from my most favourite to least favourite and why:
1. Oh Lord, Wake the Dead - (It is very Jazzy, which I like, but still keeps the Dark Cabaret style Voltaire is known for.)
2. Riding a Black Unicorn - (Always make the title track a memorable one, and this is an awesome and fun song.)
3. The Straight Razor Cabaret (Very catchy, fast paced, and delightfully surreal.)
4. The Mechanical Girl (This is the most innocent track on the album and in a way is more of a Fairy Tale, but a plenty funny one if not for the "Moral of the story" alone.)
5. Don't go By the River (Again, very catchy. This is arguably his most catchy album...)
6. When the Circus Came to Town (Voltaire can actually make a decent love song. It's not his first or his best, but still very nice.)
7. Cathouse Tragedy (It's his most twisted song to date, but it isn't as catchy as the others and some may be put off by its very gross and twisted lyrics - but it is memorable and fun in its own fucked up way.)
8. Innocent (The "saddest" sounding track on the album, though not sad in the same way that some of his older tracks like "The Chosen" or "Anastasia" were. It's a nice track - but somewhat forgettable.)
9. The Dirtiest Song that Ain't (I feel like I should like this song more than I really do, but the joke gets kind of tiresome and the tune is a bit more repetitious than the others. Not a bad song - but far, far, far from the best.)
Needless to say, if you are a Voltaire fan - this album is a great return to form and just an awesome Voltaire album in general. For the Uninitiated, I will admit that it may be better to pick up "Almost Human" or maybe "Boo-Hoo" since they are both his best albums (in my eyes anyways) and is arguably his most accessible albums, since they aren't as twisted - though they have some pretty warped tracks, just not as many.