I am very excited to give my review of the Frog's third album, entitled "T3RD". The Frog himself asked me if I would review the album for him, and I figured, 'why not?' So, after listening to it, I then listened to the Frog's two previous albums, Transformation Complete and Motivation to Procrastinate. Little does he know, until reading this, that is, that I am so enamored with the albums, I am going to review all three! How does that old Folger's ad go? "We secretly replaced the review of T3RD with a review of all three of the Frog's albums. Will he notice the difference? Let's find out…
The Frog puts his music in the genre of alternative folk/indie. I'm not so well-versed in musical genres specifically, but it seems like this should fit - sometimes. The truth is, the Frog's music is all over the place, which is what makes it so fun and unique. Some songs are existential, some seem to have deep meaning, and most just feel overall silly, yet, no matter how you define the lyrics, they are all superimposed onto a musical backdrop that is catchy and fun. Sometimes I just don't know if the music is more aloof than the lyrics, and that just adds to its character. Throw in that all songs are created from the Frog and his cigar-box ukulele, which are heard in every track if I am not mistaken, and maybe you can begin to see the picture. If not, just give it a listen. Even if it's not your style of music, there's something to be deeply appreciated in it. For now, I think I may need to go through these albums in order.
The first album, Transformation Complete, consists of eight stripped down tracks - just the Frog and his ukulele, with accompanying tambourine on the tracks Vote For Me and Where Would I Be?, and a bass drum in Tie Me Tight. It's as basic as you can get, and in my opinion, the best. I'm a sucker for the raw energy in it, but that's just me. What I really hear in this album is someone with all the talent and creativity that any great musician has. Yea, ok, so what? A lot of musicians have that, right? Of course. But do they put it all out there and go for it? Here's that raw energy I was speaking of. The lyrics are brutally honest, and the Frog shows his bravery, putting all his issues and feelings out there, regardless of repercussions or skewed perceptions. The music is in its most basic form, and the vocals are as unpolished as an old set of silver from your grandmother's china cabinet. You know, the ones that look perfect in its surroundings despite its tarnish? Never mind that the rest of the songs just have that knack of getting in your head all day, and you still love it. If you don't believe me, listen to Little Rich LaFave. Yea, that is Transformation Complete.
Motivation to Procrastinate is the second installment of the Frog. The music is a bit more polished, adding in more instruments (we'll call them the unknown band for now), but the energy and silliness are the same (listen to Veggies and Moustache Baby to see what I mean). The addition of the horn section takes it to another level musically, beyond that of the unknown band itself. Lyrically, it's still all out there for everyone to witness, and still gives it a hint of that "raw" feeling. Something else is happening here too though. "I'm gonna kill zombies, zombies"? "I saw a ghost in my apartment once, it was so scary, so scary"? Could this turn into a theme? On to the third album for confirmation.
The third album, T3RD, is the evolution of what the Frog has become. Super powers of hypnotization, tornado attacks, freeze breath, fireball power, x-ray vision, super speed, invincibility, invisibility, and it all boils down to this. The zombies and anyone else who get in his way are pretty well screwed. Kermit was never badass like this. The unknown band got a bit more involved in T3RD, and it all rounds out now. The Frog gets a little more experimental with different styles of music in the tracks Tornado Guy (crazy hyper rock), Hop (club?) and Change the World (a little Froggified rap, featuring JJF). The glue to this album is definitely the musical variety, the ridiculousness, and the Frog's ability to put everything out there in his lyrics.
There you are, Mr. Froggy Dillinger. All three albums reviewed. All I have left to say concerns all three albums, and that is this - when you listen to all the albums, you will identify the spark of insanity that the Frog embraces and runs with, leaving all issues and truths out there for everyone to criticize, or relate to. It's the serious in the not-so-serious, the fun in the hysteria, and the truth in the madness. So give the Frog a listen and see if you can find it yourself.
P.S. There is a picture at the bottom of this page that will link you to the Frog's website, where you can listen to all the albums and tracks. The picture is T3RD's album cover art. Macho Man likes it, too.