Invaders From A Forbidden Planet
Queen City (AAJ Records)
By: Alex Steininger
With an overall theme of "growing up homosexual in America," and a title like QUEEN CITY, it is easy to dismiss this album as an over attempt to try and bring awareness of homosexuality to the public that goes overboard and numbs people to the differences that make society what it is. My first reaction was just that - a bunch of homosexuals got together and thought they had a clever idea, but just perpetuated the "difference" that hates build on. But, then I put the CD in and started to listen.
In between songs frontman "The Amazing" Lee interviewed Charlotte-based gay and lesbian teens and had them talk about their coming out experience. What they have to say is even more potent and heartbreaking than the music itself, as you hear these kids talk about the abuse, punishment, and torment they had to go through just because they were different than the norm. As for the music, it has its moments. Songs like "Robot Love" and "It Hurts (When Your Mother Don't Love You)" are both good, solid indie rockers. Though, the majority of the music gets clouded with the in-between conversation and the overall loose-ness of the music on here.
The fact that a portion of the sales of this album will be donated to Tim Out Youth of Charlotte (a non-profit organization that counsels, gives shelter, and raises public awareness about tolerance and homosexuality) is nice and sincere. The conversations in-between the songs are brutal and harsh, but a good listen to realize just how much hate there is out there. As for the music, though, it takes a back seat to it all and is only decent at best, anyhow. It's a nice attempt, but I think it missed its mark. I'll give this album a C-.
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