audiotrack Chef Aid: The South Park Album

reviewed by Jill Hill

Published in Issue No. 20 ~ January, 1999

Say everybody have you seen my balls
they are big and salty and brown. If you ever need a quick pick me up
just stick my balls in your mouth
suck on my balls.

With Trey Parker on keyboards and Matt Stone on Drums, Sir Isaac Hayes as Chef is at his funky best on “Chocolate Salty Balls.” Hayes sounds lowdown horny – a pitbull in heat: growling, rumbling, moaning, groaning. Later on track 18, “Tonight is Right for Love,” Chef gets sentimental and lets his low velvety voice caress the lyrics:

Tonight is right for love
I want to touch you where the lights don’t go
I’ll keep you burning like a dog in heat.

Then Meatloaf cuts in and goes off into some crazed love-is-hell thing, and Chef shouts out: “Meat. Meatloaf. Hey Meat! Where you going son? Come back to us. . . here have a taco.” (Or close enough…buy the CD.) Hayes’ Chef pulls together influences ranging from funk to disco to blues to rap to polka. By introducing acts, singing along, and breaking into the song, Chef gives the CD a cohesiveness lacking in most various artist compilations.

Matt and Trey have gathered talent and used it wisely to promote South Park. The duo have also used their own talents to enhance the CD. Many long hours must have gone into the lyrics of “Simultaneous”: You and me and her / It’s simultaneous loving.

Pleasingly, the songs work on a comic and musical level. Earnest attention has been paid to the sound of this album, though, no, I’m not going to play “Love Gravy” for my mother and have her hear Chef say Come on Rick you don’t drown bitches in gravy / It ain’t cool.

But “Love Gravy” does have a disco cool that springs from the Rick James and Ike Turner collaboration. Elton John on “Wake Up Wendy” sounds more bluesy than he has sounded in twenty years, even though he’s working with these lyrics: Wake up Wendy / Love’s in Season. (Written my Bernie Taupin.)

The South Park Album is aimed at the fans of South Park and others who enjoy immature sexual innuendoes, potty talk and just out-and-out foolishness. One of the funniest moments on the CD occurs between tracks 12 & 13 in a three-way conversation between Sid Greenfield, Matt and Trey. Another inspired act of foolishness is Cartman singing “Come Sail Away,” the song first made popular by Styx. Sounding like Mariah Carey on crack, Cartman expresses his special feelings. When Chef gets funky, Cartman politely asks, “Who’s screwing with my song?” The South Park boys also help Wycleff Jean on “Bubblegoose.” If I had the lyrics I might be able to guess what this song is about, but the only clear lyric is Cartman shouting out “MacTen” and “Hell, yeah!” and various people catching a bullet in a bubblegoose. “Kenny’s Dead” is in heavy rotation on MTV and will likely push the sells to mega-Streisand heights. And of course the Parental Advisory can only help sales. Yet, it is not all about sex. It is also about Kyle’s mother being a big fat bitch, which is sung quite convincingly by Cartman. Polka style

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Jill Hill lives with some kids, some dogs, writes, and manages a restaurant where she tries out her new CD's. She listens to a variety of music, from Classical to Blues, but tries to stay away from most rap. In her words: "I am always on the look out for a new band or singer/songwriter that I will like. I like a CD that does not grow old and weary sounding, which mean I don't want buy a CD that can be found on the used CD sale table a month later. One of my favorite CD's is Neal Young's Everyone Knows this is Nowhere. My favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and my favorite novel of his Of Love and Other Demons. X-Files is about the only TV I watch. I do not watch sitcoms and do not like music inspired by sitcoms. I'd rather listen to a sampled rap version of the Jetsons theme song."