Double B Drops Jewels on "Stick to Blogging"
----Beautiful Brian Seiken, from "Stick to Blogging"
From the very first words of his seminal work of competitive eating themed rock and roll, Beautiful Brian Seiken announces himself as the underdog who has finally made good - "the phenom, coming out of nowhere." And if his self-released CD is any indication of what's to come, this Brooklyn native will remain a major player in the realm of competitive eating media for some time.
Though the album displays a remarkable range of genre - from post-punk to '50s-style ballad - the themes are fairly consistent. Each song is either a
tribute or a protest song, and the object is always a member, or a phenomenon, associated with the MLE competitive eating circuit.
Seiken sounds like the sixth Beatle on the album-starter, "Stink for Yourself," an old-school protest song that excoriates a group of rogue outsiders. "Black and White" sets Seiken's decade-old squabble with former gurgitator and India expat Dale Boone to music, while "Bonebreaker" features Double B in Johnny Cash mode and Badlands Booker doing his best super-fast Southern-fried imitation of Twista. On "Retaliation," a slightly paranoid blues riff about the MLE rankings, Seiken channels his inner Blind Willie Johnson. "Don't Ever Call Me Again" might be the saddest lullaby ever written about a rift between competitive eaters. It took Wilco four full albums to develop lyrics this impactful - Seiken gets there by track 12.
Even on the album's weaker tracks, there are highlights, such as this line:
"The guy in the hat and tie is telling a lie." And throughout Seiken shows his ability to align the listener with his point of view. One wonders, for example, whether the subjects of Seiken's wrath on "Stink for Yourself" are real or fake? It is never said, but you come away thinking if they are real they must be serious fakes.
The album's biggest stunner is "Let Me Tell Ya," a touching ballad that has the least discernible theme of all the songs. One can easily picture a gym full of high school kids swaying to this mellifluous gem on prom night and
then again at a reunion dance 20 years down the road. Some critics have even suggested that this is Seiken's "Jungle Land."
If and when Seiken decides to drop his first single, this reviewer feels
strongly that it's no competition. And the Chair of Major League Eating
himself, George Shea, couldn't agree more. "'Let me Tell Ya' pulls on your
heartstrings, revealing the sad beauty of life and the complexity of human
emotion," a visibly shaken Shea said, eyes closed, after his fourth straight
listen. "You will find yourself singing along from the first chorus, and you
will be pleasurably haunted afterward by Double B's plaintive falsetto."