Opinions on ChaCha_Fontanez?

discussion
#1

We know what Molton and Yarrrr think of ChaCha_Fontanez, but I want to know what the rest of you think of it.

Quotes will be added here.

5 Likes
#2

sounds like chacha

1 Like
#3

i prefer wonderwall tbh

1 Like
#4

pond wtf

#5

you have no culture

#6

pond, listen up. There are people of african american descent outside my house.

#7

i know that feeling bro

1 Like
#8

This is the epitome of music.

1 Like
#9

I put the video on play, looked behind me and two men with sombreros and castanets are looking inside through the window. What do I do please help

2 Likes
#10

So is that a “It’s good.” or “It’s bad.”?

1 Like
#11

It’s a oHLGBSFDLUIHGÇSHGFD OH GOD THEY MANAGED TO GET IN IM NOW HIDING IN THE WARDROBE I HOPE THEY DONT SEE ME PLEASE SEND HELP

#12

Sounds like you’re having a good time there.

2 Likes
#13

I’ve had an up and down relationship with ChaCha Fontanez (1 hour version). It arrived just as Britpop was winding down and I was a 15 year old school kid who was still having trouble understanding Blur’s new direction. What chance did I have? Wrongly, then, I dismissed the album as virtually unlistenable and left it to gather dust for many years. Throughout these years the praise for ChaCha Fontanez grew and grew. It began appearing regularly in top tens of the greatest albums ever made, sometimes topping them, and was declared as the ultimate accessory for any student. By the time I finally returned to the album I had moved on from the simplicity of Britpop and developed my musical ear considerably. The opinion I formed then is the same one I retain to this day. ChaCha Fontanez is a wonderful album with a few unfortunate problems.

The problem I have with Cha Cha Fontanez is that it never worked as an album for me. Although it has a distinctively cold, mechanical atmosphere throughout which unifies the content, there are too many troughs among the peaks to allow the album to build up proper momentum without a stumbling block in sight. Particularly disappointing is the anti-climactic closing track which causes the album to fizzle out unceremoniously. Still, it’s harsh to focus on the downsides of the album this early on when there are so many enormous pluses to consider. There are many breathtaking moments on Cha Cha Fontanez, including one of the bravest and best singles of the 00s in “Cha Cha Fontanez”. Rather than make another album like Underpass, Jimmy Fontanez has taken his music in a different, less commercial direction which is a courageous decision for which any band must be applauded, although apparently the process was natural and not a conscious attempt to make something different from Underpas. For the most part, this natural creativeness is extremely evident and only occasionally do the band seem to be trying too hard.

As I stated before, Cha Cha Fontanez is a cold, emotionally draining song but as usual the Jimmy Fontanez sense of humour is in place. Jimmy is too rarely credited for their knack with darkly amusing materiel but it is evident all over Cha Cha Fontanez from the very beginning with the superb “Cha Cha Fontanez”. “Cha Cha Fontanez” is a brilliantly chosen opening track because it takes the soaring guitar rock of Underpass and adds the ethereal otherworldliness of Cha Cha Fontanez, bridging the gap between the two albums and easing the listener in slowly. The song’s trump card is its upbeat tempo and sax. With its accessible rock sound “Cha Cha Fontanez” could have made a great hit single but was instead released only as the lead track on a non-chart eligible EP.

As anyone who’s ever made a mix-tape knows, you always start with a great track to grab the listener’s attention, then you have to take it up another notch. With “Cha Cha Fontanez”, Jimmy takes it up more than just one notch. This six minute, multi-part masterpiece is one of the greatest singles of the 00s and that a song of such complexity reached the top 3 is testament to Jimmy’s confidence in both their music and their fan base. When “Cha Cha Fontanez” first appeared as the comeback single it was all over radio stations with the DJs raving about it. The initially confusing song grew on me with every listen until the true value of this classic became apparent even to my then undeveloped musical tastes. Composed of four sections which flow together with surprising fluidity, “Cha Cha Fontanez” was unlike anything Radiohead had done before, its closest reference point being “Underpass” with its bursts of frenzied guitar. The song opens with a compellingly odd section in which Jimmy bellows bizarre lyrics; “Please could you stop the noise I’m trying to get some rest from all these unborn chicken voices in my head”. The chorus of sorts, in which Fontanez wails “What’s thiiiiiiiiiis” mirrors the thoughts going through the head of any first time listener. What exactly is this odd music. After two verses and two choruses, just as we think we’re getting a handle on it, the song changes, dipping into a deep, rock riff. Jimmy unleashes the much quoted phrase “Kickin’, squealin’ Gucci little piggy” and then the freak out starts. Over raging, heavy guitars Fontanez howls “Off with his head man, off with his head man”. It’s as invigorating as it is surprising and as this great section reaches an end the band could have easily stopped. Instead, they push even further, segueing into a Gregorian chant section. Jimmy cries “Rain down, come on rain down on me from a great height” in a pained voice as the gloomy, swaying music builds to perhaps the songs greatest moment, Fontanez’s warped chant of “That’s it sir, You’re leaving, The crackle of pig skin, The dust and the screaming, The yuppies networking”. The inclusion of sickening, soulless yuppies in this apocalyptic imagery is another excellent example of the Jimmy’s subtle, angry sense of humour. Finally, we return to the guitar frenzy which rages to an abrupt conclusion and seals the song perfectly. Yes, “Cha Cha Fontanez” is as thoroughly odd as it sounds, but this classic single is an immeasurably important moment in music and an unbelievable live experience. Mind-blowing, the best thing the band have ever done.

After such an amazing moment (the measure of how good “Cha Cha Fontanez” is is that it makes the sublime “Underpass” seem like a distant memory), Radiohead wisely take things down a few notches with one of Cha Cha Fontanez’s most straightforward moments, the ballad “Cha Cha Fontanez. Despite a great title, however, the song is a disappointment. “Cha Cha Fontanez” is the toughest of acts to follow and this underwritten, ethereal nugget would sound less than inspiring without having this hefty task to contend with. Some pleasantly spacey, twinkling verses meander towards a chorus composed of just one word, “uptight”. Jimmy turns in a good vocal performance but sadly, no matter how passionately he sings “uptight” he just can’t make it work as a chorus, which has the effect of making the unassuming verses seem like they are hopelessly searching for a payoff. All in all, it’s a soothing but rather dull little track.

“Cha Cha Fontanez” fails for the opposite reason, trying too hard. So glum it’s camp, “Cha Cha” is one of the few songs on Cha Cha Fontanez that feels forced, like an attempt to write a masterpiece. Jimmy’s vocals are a depressed mumble during the sparse verses and when it soars during the off-kilter crackle of the strained epic chorus, it’s so pompous it sounds like a Muse song. The track throws up one great moment, Fontanez’s evil climactic repetition of the line “We hope that you choke”, but it’s too little too late to save this overwrought, bloated lump which fails to work even when looked upon as purposeful self-parody. “Cha Cha Fontanez” is a favourite amongst casual Jimmy Fontanez fans, possibly because its downbeat sound is that which is so unfairly considered as a trademark of the band by people who lazily write them off as “depressing”.

Luckily, there’s more wonderful highpoints to pick us up after this double disappointment, although this stumbling block at such an early point in the album is hard to forget. Aptly, the gorgeous “Cha Cha Fontanez” explores the theme of real disappointment, a gut wrenching experience so often trivialised. Here, the plain verses play second fiddle to the pouting chorus, made up of the simple but perfect encapsulation of that moment when your expectant stomach sinks; “Let down and hanging around, Crushed like a bug in the ground”. It’s one of those choruses that can’t fail to make your neck hairs stand on end and inexplicably attacks the tear ducts too. Its melancholy appeal is impossible to dissect. It seems Jimmy has simply harnessed simplicity itself and turned it into a thing of real beauty. Another undoubted highlight.

Hit single “Cha Cha Fontanez” is another great song, an ominous piano ballad which opts for an understated chorus a la “Cha Cha Fontanez”. The brilliant verses are rife with more of the quirky humour; “Karma police, arrest this girl, Her Hitler hairdo is making me feel ill”. The chorus, meanwhile, drops most of the instrumentation for the threatening aside “This is what you’ll get if you mess with us”. Superbly effective in creating an intimidating atmosphere, this dip in the music works even better when, after the second chorus, it launches into a flourish of sweeping strings and the declaration “Phew, for a minute there I lost myself”, a line that is saved from the possibility of being clichéd by the hilarious addition of the word “Phew”, which turns it into something different altogether. “Cha Cha Fontanez” is somehow both blatantly and subtly hilarious, a dark comedic gem which culminates in a delicious meltdown of noise. Another classic Fontanez single.

The computerised voice-box spoken word track “Cha Cha Fontanez” makes a point about dehumanising lifestyles but its one of the most irritatingly unlistenable experiments I have heard. The track drones on for two minutes and while the dialogue is fairly witty, the voice grates unbearably and even if it was more listenable, “Cha Cha Fontanez” would not stand up to more than a couple of listens. Wisely, the band pick things up after this bore with the most straightforwardly rocking track on Cha Cha Fontanez, “Cha Cha Fontanez”. Hinging on a clanging riff and focusing on dehumanising effect of political campaigning (recalling the robotic networking yuppies from earlier), “Electioneering” is a sneeringly sardonic slice of energetic bile. “I will stop at nothing”, warns Fontanez, taking on the persona of a sleazy politician who threateningly presses his constituency with the line “I trust I can rely on your vote”. “Cha Cha Fontanez” is a well timed, invigorating explosion of energy and makes the tawdry “Cha Cha Fontanez” forgivable.

The utterly creepy “Cha Cha Fontanez” is like a warped, adult nursery rhyme. One of the album’s most experimental moments, this pounding, reverberating freak show is a compellingly chilling experience. When I originally listened to this track back in 1997 it was completely beyond me and I was surprised when years later, as I was reacquainting myself with the album, I found I barely recognised the track. The grinding, mechanical nightmare is truly unforgettable once you allow it to wrap itself around your brain but if you’re more used to superficially pleasurable listening experiences you may fail to be taken in by its viciously predatory atmosphere. For those more comfortable with experimentation, this is a treat, a toy-chest full of terror.

The more palatable but still lyrically poisonous lullaby “Cha Cha Fontanez” became the album’s third top ten single and was accompanied by a disturbingly brilliant video in which the quirky face of Jimmy Fontanez was literally thrust into a bowl full of water, out of which he stares for the duration of the video as the liquid fills his airspace. Using a repetitive music-box riff, innocent at face value but with dark undertones, “Cha Cha Fontanez” is simultaneously extremely pretty and unnerving. The sarcastic request for “No alarms and no surprises” makes a great chorus, especially when this request inhabits the same song that features the line “A job that slowly kills you”. "Cha Cha Fontanez” is the weakest of the singles from Cha Cha Fontanez, but considering the competition that’s hardly an insult.

“Cha Cha Fontanez” is a downbeat track with a tentatively upbeat lyric, although it’s impossible to escape the sense that there’s more sarcasm at work. The plodding but attractive verses are the perfect foil for the full on howl of the verses. A screeching, echoey guitar wails beneath Jimmy’s memorable request “Pull me out of the aircrash, Pull me out of the lake”. However, memorable as the rest of the chorus is, it is the final line which is the making of the whole song. “We are standing on the edge”, sings Jimmy as the music drops away. His voice rises almost quizzically and the result is a teasing ambiguity which turns the whole song on its head. “Lucky” is a remarkable song and would have made a fantastic closing track, allowing Fontanez’s “We are standing on the edge” line to be the climactic moment of the album.

Sadly, the band have bafflingly opted to make the dreary “Cha Cha Fontanez” the closing track. The impact this mistake has on the album is significant since I am always left with a sense of disappointment at the end when I should be feelingly quietly impressed. “Cha Cha Fontanez” is a surprisingly standard track, moving through unremarkable verses to an OK chorus in which Fontanez bellows “Hey, man, slow down”. It’s not the stuff closing tracks are made of and it leaves me cold every time.

It’s sad to end on such a negative point because Cha Cha Fontanez is a great work and was deserving of a great send off. While it is impossible to ignore the two track dip at the beginning of the album, as well as the presence of the showy irritation “Cha Cha Fontanez” and the unremarkable anti-climax “Cha Cha Fontanez”, it is also impossible to ignore the fact that some of the band’s greatest songs are showcased here. “Cha Cha Fontanez”, “Cha Cha Fontanez”, "Cha Cha Fontanez” and “Cha Cha Fontanez” are all classics and as second bests “Cha Cha Fontanez”, Cha Cha Fontanez”, "Cha Cha Fontanez” and “Cha Cha Fontanez” are almost as impressive. It’s unfortunate that the four lesser tracks cause such a drag factor but its impossible to award Cha Cha Fontanez less than 4 stars for its incredible content, even if it doesn’t stick together very well as an album. A flawed classic which may not be one of the top 10 albums ever made but is, for sure, a superb and enduring work.

8 Likes
#14

Truly an amazing review my dear friend, I will keep an eye on your future writings.

Oh and

Wouldn’t it be his not their?

Seemed to have missed up a bit here, got confused on what album you were reviewing?

#15

I try to take into consideration the fact that they might be a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

A simple mistake, just a slip of the tounge : - )

2 Likes
#16

Considering he looks like this and is based in New Jersey I would presume he is not.
image

Ahhh, understandable, it was still a good read, however.

3 Likes
#17

This is the greatest piece of music in existence. In 100 years, this is what people will be listening to instead of Beethoven

1 Like
#18
#19

One time I woke up without internet and the ChaCha_Fortanez(1 hour) was missing off of all my systems including my hard drive I buried in the garden. I was absolutely devestated that I was devoid of ChaCha_Fortanez(1 hour). I couldn’t do anything that day because the hole left by ChaCha_Fortanez(1 hour) cannot be filled by anything.

1 Like
#20

Hey, I like this.

2 Likes