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The most entertaining element of this record is the picture of Rob Schneider sharing a friendly moment with a grinning orangutan. Letís play pick the primate with the sophisticated comedic timing. Too easy? Well there is this second picture of Rob, with a goat. But decorum wonít permit . . .

Each of the tracks listed in the CD booklet has a creature caricature stamped next to it. Real classy too. They look like clip art. Some are apropos while others equate to matching Kylie Minogue with a giraffe.

One they did get right, is a cat for Marvin Gaye. But then the goat could have figured that one out. From itís opening notes, Letís Get It On is as slinky a slice of soul as the great soulman ever recorded. Just as smooth as the salacious salvation of Sexual Healing and with more finesse in its passionate groove. The rhythm is effortless, the bass locks funkily in the pocket and the peerless voice never skated so effortlessly around phrases.

Inhabiting an entirely different corner of the musical kingdom are The Minus 5. However, they deliver the only other genuine plus in this, by and large, meagre menagerie. I donít know why The Amazing Dolphin Boy has a rabbit as its badge but if they couldnít find a porpoise picture, a beetle might have sufficed. This is a very Beatles-esque outing of psychadelia. The strummed acoustic guitars, sweet harmonies and eclectic organ break arenít quite Fab Four quality, but they donít shame the genre by any means.

The rest of the CD is populated by denizens of the least fertile corner of the techno-punk-rap jungle. With the possible exception of Rustic Overtones whose spritely brass blasts are worth a listen, and Tone-Deaf . . . er, Tone-Loc whose Wild Thingódespite comprising all the elements of ephemeral hit materialóhasnít dated quite as awfully as it ought. You do have to admire a guy who can rap with reasonable enunciation, while his tongue is planted so firmly in his cheek. ďShopping at the mall looking for some gear to buy/I saw this girl she cool rocked my world and I had to adjust my fly.Ē Puerile to the syllable, but worth a chortle.

Still, a positive effort from The Minus Five, and this retro rap novelty are hardly enough. Sorry Marvin, not even one super cool cat can save the day. If this review were accompanied by an animal icon, it would have to be a turkey.
Brad Green

Published August 9, 2001

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Track 7 - Letís Get It On
Track 9 - The Amazing Dolphin Boy

TITLE: Animal, The

ID: 20616 23282

FMR/Hollywood Records

ARTISTS: Rustic Overtones, Ali Dee, Quad City DJís, Tone-Loc, Mocean Worker, Wailing Souls, Marvin Gaye, Coo Coo Cal, The Minus 5, Citizen King, Bottlefly


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