Kleenex Girl Wonder: Classic or Dud?

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So, is Graham Smith the strongest man alive or just another whiney indie pop one man show?...I like his ponyoak album, it's quite raw, but he writes some really hummable tunes...though, it is a far too long album.

Anyway, what do you think...also Search and Destroy.

james, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Saw him in concert in Washington a few years ago. It was amusing. Search a second hand copy of Ponyoak.

nathalie, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Whiney, yes. "Why I Write Such Good Songs" is damn catchy tho.

Ariƫn, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

'sexual harassment' and 'can't pull the wool over these eyes' = classic. graham's cover of 'the boy is mine' = classic.

i can't really comment on the rest of it because i haven't paid too much attention (even though i have the records! bad maura!), but i have to say that i find the idea of combining lyrical bragging with the indie-boy aesthetic is more than a little terrifying, especially for people who might *date* these boys.

maura, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Kleenex were certainly girl wonders... although I prefer to use the word 'woman' instead

Jerry, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Disclaimer: KGW once did a song for a compilation I put out.

I think Graham's an AMAZING songwriter at his best, and I think someday he's going to put out an album that's gonna make everyone wonder why they've been sleeping. To date, you sort of have to take him song-by- song. But if you've missed "Why I Write Such Good Songs"--Nietzsche by way of N'Sync--or "Bones and the Smiling Mackerel" (beating GBV at their own game) or "Wireless" or "Sexual Harassment" or "Ponyoak" or "The Bostonians" or that friggin' amazing "Coda" piece at the end of _Smith_, well, you probably have a lot of room for useful things in your head that's occupied in mine by his tunes/words running through it.

Douglas Wolk, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The most recent record he's made was done in by the curse of the skit. His other stuff ranges from subpar to stellar, making all stops in between.


jek, Tuesday, 23 October 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
best. band. of. all. times!!!!

eBeth, Saturday, 8 February 2003 23:01 (seventeen years ago) link

not really. i like 'sexual harassment' for all of it's playful experimentation but then he just turned into robert pollard, who needs that?

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 8 February 2003 23:29 (seventeen years ago) link

"Five Guitars" classic.

Carey (Carey), Sunday, 9 February 2003 00:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I really like the songs (not the skits) on the underrated "Smith" album. I like Aftermathmatics as well. While he seems to have lost some indie cred (check the horrible reviews the last alum recieved)I tend to think he's getting better, more interesting. His merging of b-boy posturing with indie pop sensibility coincided with my growing love of timbaland, Neptunes, and Jay-Z after having indie pop for so long. He seems to have deathroned Stephen Merrit in the seemingly effortless pop craft/wordplay department. On the MOC records web site there is a rap mp3 called "Hit By a Car" recorded by Graham Smtih under the name Matt Cutter. It would still fall under the catagory of ironic thuggism, or parody but it's Graham Smith's first shockingly credible stab at the genre yet.

theodore fogelsanger, Sunday, 9 February 2003 01:19 (seventeen years ago) link

classic. The only album I love totally (that I've heard) is "Ponyoak", which is like GBV with great lyrics therefore some of the best music ever made. "Smith" and "After Mathematics" were a lot less tight, but I'm totally impressed by his willingness to experiment. I hope he loses some of his tee-hee ironicism (and drops the damn instrumentals!), but this guy is too talented to ever be counted out. And young enough that his best work may still be ahead of him. Definitely makes my top 10 Artists Of My Generation.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 9 February 2003 23:29 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
Kleenex Girl Wonder covers "The Thong Song" - novelty, schmovelty...I just played it three times in a row and it made me smile/laugh every time.

Ernest P. (ernestp), Sunday, 15 February 2004 05:59 (sixteen years ago) link

They used to do a pretty sharp cover of "No Scrubs" - way before HH started to creep into Graham's music, he was obviously influenced by it.

If he can ever fully reconcile the pop and the rap (he was a third of the way there on Aftermathmatics) he would be on to something really great I think.

Slumberlord (Imbroglio), Sunday, 15 February 2004 06:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Ponyoak wasn't quite so glorious as I imply upthread the last time I listened to it. I still like KGW though.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 15 February 2004 18:03 (sixteen years ago) link

twelve years pass...

'The Comedy Album' out today, 13 songs on iTunes etc. but a 23-track double album version is available direct from http://kgw.me/album/the-comedy-album

I think he's been on a roll with the last few albums, though they seem to slip by without being noticed too much.


PaulTMA, Friday, 18 March 2016 13:08 (four years ago) link

Hey wow, I didn't know anyone else here was still into KGW! Totally agree about the last few albums -- I recently realized that Let it Buffer is probably my favorite thing he's done. It's hard to rank anything above Ponyoak, but I definitely listen to the recent stuff a lot more often.

I've had the double album version of The Comedy Album for a few months and I'm not really surprised to see it trimmed down for official release, but I am surprised at some of the cuts, like the Max Tundra-produced track, etc.

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Friday, 18 March 2016 21:20 (four years ago) link

He seems to have cut most of the odder tracks, although 'Fuck The New Yorker' survived. 'Like Lena Dunham' is an especially bizarre song. Overall it's easily the weirdest album he's managed since 'Smith', though the abridged version definitely seems more easy to take in.

I only really discovered KGW a couple of months ago but have become familiar with just about everything Graham Smith has done, musically-speaking. It seems very odd that major labels didn't come knocking after Ponyoak, which I'm pretty sure would have been the album that Weezer fans would have wanted Rivers & Co. to put out a studio version of in 1999, in some kind of alternate universe. Easily one of the best albums I've ever heard and kind of shocking he wrote it while still in his teens.

PaulTMA, Sunday, 20 March 2016 21:27 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

Another great KGW album. He never stops. http://kgw.me/

PaulTMA, Thursday, 10 May 2018 23:25 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

'May Be Icy' has, over the years, slowly evolved in my esteem from just another good song on a real good album to one of my favorite songs of all time.

Looks like I'm gonna be the filling in a missile sandwich! (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 13:17 (two weeks ago) link

Coincidentally was listening to that for the first time in years yesterday. A lot to be said for the teenage KGW era

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 13:24 (two weeks ago) link

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