The Phantom of the Opera meets Chuck D. Philip Glass meets Eminem. Ennio Morricone meets Tone Loc. This new extravagant outing by Chilly Gonzales is one of those aesthetic-musical distortions that can’t be explained without drowning in the most ridiculous descriptions. But it’s a pleasure. The self-proclaimed “musical genius” from Canada has forgotten about the piano sonatas and busting rhymes of “Ivory Tower”, which could be described as a kind of opera rap with an air of super production costume drama soundtrack. When it seems like there couldn’t be any more twists, our man pulls another one out of his sleeve and gets away with it. The new Gonzales is great. Again.
“The Unspeakable” seems like a joke, but it isn’t. Or it is. Or is it? Whatever. The thing is, used as we are to the orchestral paraphernalia and mega-drama rap pop of these days, the album seems to find its place in our reality, even though it moves away completely from the tyranny of the beat and leaves the demented rhymes of the master as the sole recognisable resource of the hip-hop liturgy. Orchestral rap? Epic spoken word? Sure. For such a kitschy delirium, Gonzales sought the company of his brother Christophe Beck (soundtrack composer and maker of the music for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and slashes open his guts to write some of the most schizoid, absurd and hilariously trite verses of his career with blood, bile and cartilage.
Small piano additions by the Canadian circulate gracefully in a symphony of violins, trombones, cellos, synths and orchestral climaxes that make the soundtrack of “The Mission” seem like a minimal techno-dub record. Tacky thriller epic on “Rap Race”; pre-rehab Radcliffe Harry Potter choirs on “Beans”; sentimental Hollywood epic on the sensational “Self Portrait”; bongos and tropical music on “Bongo Monologue”; opera drama with Shakespearian speech on “Who Wants To Hear This”; arabesque delirium from “Sinbad” to “Prince Of Persia” on “Party On My Mind”. The filmic background and the baroque composition are perfect for Gonzales’ stories of defeat, drug addiction, freakiness and depressive egomania. Exaggeration becomes him, the more dramatic the rapping, the funnier are poetic masterpieces, like “I'm way beyond snob / I'm a Louis Vuitton slob / You want the truth? No prob / I see the face of God in a blowjob / I see the truth, in Eric Cartman / In Salvador Dalí and Dolly Parton / And even Chris Martin / When I dance to 'Viva La Vida' alone in my apartment”. The entertainer is back in fine style.