Two Lips

The Lost Album
(Oglio)

Dan Castellaneta is the driving force behind the band Two Lips, but it's a sure bet that whatever renown he gains from his music won't eclipse the attention he gets from his day job: Castellaneta is the voice of Homer Simpson. A talented impressionist, he also channels Grandpa Simpson, Krusty the Clown and Groundskeeper Willie for the famed Fox TV show. But it's his occasional Simpsons cameo as the voices of the Beatles that comes into play here. The idea for The Lost Album originated with Castellanetta's fondness for writing and recording pop songs in his best Fab Four voice and presenting them to friends as gifts. Sure enough, the fourteen tracks collected here are clever Beatles impersonations down to the smallest detail. The album is studded with '60s-era instruments like twelve-string guitar, Wurlitzer and euphonium, and it's packed with the sort of vaguely silly, nursery-rhyme lyrics that would have been right at home on Sergeant Pepper's. But on musical merit alone, The Lost Album falls short. Aside from his warbly, Muppet-like McCartney voice -- which is dead-on in tunes like "No One Around" and "Ostrich Avenue" -- Castellaneta's impressions aren't silly enough or straight enough to register as either amusing or uncanny. The same is true of the album as a whole. Two Lips waffles between outright camp and faithfully copied British pop without ever committing to either. Castellaneta is surely pop's king of dorky musical approximations, which makes for a lot of fun, but it's not a talent that lends itself to full-length albums.

 
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