There are many clear differences between certain Type O Negative albums, and that made opinions matter very much based on mood. However, I feel that Life Is Killing Me is their greatest accomplishment. When this album came out I recognized it right away. Every band has that one album, and everything else is just everything else. It's a little different for solo artists.
This ended up being the band's second last studio album, but at the time I really thought it was going to be the last album. It blew my mind when we got one more album four years later, but helped cement the fact that this album was the best of the best.
Thir13teen opens the album, and is a great little instrumental piece. If you look at the liner notes it says that it's from The Munsters tv show, and it might be that I sadly haven't seen the show in forever, but it really doesn't ring a bell. Still, it's a great little track.
I Don't Wanna Be Me is a great upbeat number that really should have been a bigger hit than it was. This song should appeal to just about every human being at some point in their life, at least once."I don't wanna be me anymore / Ever throwing at his home / Two glass houses, twenty stones / Fourteen yellow, six are blue / Could it be worse?.. Quite doubtful. / I don't wanna be me anymore / I don't wanna be me anymore / 1-2 / 1-2-3-4. / Two steps forward, three steps back / Without warning, heart attack / He fell asleep in the snow / Never woke up, died alone / I don't wanna be me anymore / I don't wanna be me anymore / 1-2 / 1-2-3-4. / Please don't dress in black / When you're at his wake / Don't go there to mourn / But to celebrate / I don't wanna be me anymore / I don't wanna be me anymore / 1-2 / 1-2-3-4. / I don't wanna be me anymore / I don't wanna be me anymore". I mean, how can you argue with that?
Less Than Zero starts with a soundscape track that is normal on a Type O CD. It then brings to mind articles I have read over the years about Pete Steele's love for lovey dovey Sixtie's Hippie's music. I use that as a comparison made by Goth, or Metal fans. But this song sounds like the perfect example of that kind of music, and not the kind of song the band typically does on their own. To this day I couldn't sing you a single part of this song, but that's because I hear the vocals as yet another instrument.
Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things) is one of those songs that's great when listening to the album, or even in a mix, but I never go out of my way to listen to it.
I love the song I Like Goils. It's a great upbeat number, that the casual listener might think is homophobic, because people love to throw that around so quick and easily. However, it's actually Steele recounting his many various encounters, when he's been approached by men looking for a good time. "Come on, / Forget the jar of Vaseline / Hey rich-bitch boy I'm not gonna be your queen and yeah / You can drool, beg me and hope / There's no damn way I'm playing drop the soap, ok / I know I'm strange but I ain't no queer / So take your rage and disappear / But I'm proud not to be PC 'cause / I like goils / I like goils / I like goils / Bad goils all over this world / Now I don't know whose ass you've licked / No shit-tongued boy will ever taste my dick / He says "How 'bout no sex, we'll just be friends" / Hey no thanks Pal, I'll stick with lesbians, you're right! / A sexist pig, I guess it's true / I hate all men including you / I don't care what you think of me 'cause / I like goils / I like goils / I like goils / Bad goils all over this world / I'm quite flattered that you think I'm cute / But I don't deal well with compacted poop, so look / If my views make you annoyed / You're just jealous I don't have hemorrhoids, so now / To make it clear that you can't bone me / My tattooed ass reads "Exit only" / I don't care much for sodomy 'cause / I like goils / I like goils / I like goils / Bad goils all over this world / I like goils / I like goils / I like goils / Bad goils all over this world".
...A Dish Best Served Coldly is more in the classic depressive Type O Negative style. It's Peter Gothically pining for an extended period of time.
How Could She is actually pretty bitchin' musically. It's got a lot of groove and hook, then slides into a mellow remembrance of pretty much every female real or cartoon that was on the television in the 60's, 70's and maybe some early 80's. From there it slowly moves into the old school classic grind that's very standard with Type O, and would symbolize a man being worn down, until it comes back with some killer speed, groove and hook. There's a lot to this song musically, when lyrically it's like so many pop culture songs. Madonna's Vogue and Billy Joel's We Didn't Start The Fire come to mind. However, this song is so much more interesting, because it's more than just a pop culture reference song.
It's been a while since I've listened to this album, so I forgot how the album's title track opened. I had to go double check it was the right track. The core of the song is pretty upbeat and has a great hook, and chorus. The opening of the song, on the other hand, would have you thinking that it's a more typical long winded depressing song, but like most of this album you'd be wrong. I also love the joke behind the line "Life is killing me."
Seriously, even at this point in the album you can tell that while various versions of Type O Negative styles are used, and some songs sound exactly as you'd expect from this Brooklyn band, there are so many dynamics and textures to so many of the songs. But the band clearly is much more evolved on this album than you'll hear on any other.
Nettie is another track that I love listening to, but only when the album is on. Like everything else on this album, it's arranged with a lot ov intricacy. I really think Josh Silver's keyboard work sounds great with it's Classical tones and fills. (We Were) Electrocute is one of the songs on this album I like to sing along with the most. Though I'm still bad with the lyrics. It just has one of those kind of melodies. "We were electrocute / In our has-been 1980's suits / So electrocute / Everyone we knew said it was true / That's when even strangers knew our names / Ten year's later sighed "what a shame" / We were electrocute / To make the point again is moot / Ssssssso electrocute / How on you I've wasted my youth / Your cold eyes of Coney Island sand / Hair dyed the blood of a foolish man / So proud to be by your side / We were a team no one denied / Even though I still miss your lips / You're about as real as your tits". This is one of the most straight ahead songs on the album as well. It does pick up some speed and gets a little heavier as it goes, but not in any complex way, like you find on other songs, on this album.
IYDKMIGTHTKY (Gimme That) is yet another song that you can't help but sing. At least that's what I think, which is why it's easier for me to call the song by a different name, If You Don't Kill Me I'm Going To Have To Kill You. The only reason I can think it was shortened the way it was, was just to see how many people would be able to get the letters straight when saying the title.
Admittedly my favourite song on this album is Angry Inch, which is a cover of a song, that's performed in a movie about a band with a transgendered vocalist. At least I think that's a fair quick description for Hedwig And The Angry Inch. I've seen most of the movie once and it's pretty good, but I'll take the Type O Negative version of the song any day. Also the greatest set of lyrics I have ever heard since Frank Zappa. "My sex-change operation got botched / My guardian angel fell asleep on the watch / Now all I got is a Barbie Doll-crotch / I got an angry inch / Six inches forward and five inches back / I got a / I got an angry inch / I'm from the land where you still hear the cries / I had to get out to sever all ties / I changed my name and assumed a disguise / I got an angry inch / Six inches forward and five inches back / I got a / I got an ingry inch / Six inches forward and five inches back / The train is coming and I'm tied to the track / I try to get up but I can't get no slack / I got an angry inch, angry inch, angry inch / My mother made my tits out of clay / My boyfriend told me that he'd take me away / They dragged me to the doctor one day / I've got an angry inch / Six inches forward and five inches back / I got a / I got an angry inch / A long story short: / When I woke up from the operation / I was bleeding down there / Bleeding from the gash between my legs / My first day as a woman / And already it's that time of the month / But two days later / The hole closed up and the wound healed / And I was left with a one inch mound of flesh / Where my penis used to be / Where my vagina never was / A one inch mound of flesh / With a scar running down it / Like a sideways grimace / On an eyeless face / It was just a little bulge / It was an angry inch / Six inches forward and five inches back / The train is coming and I'm tied to the track / I try to get up but I can't get no slack / I got an angry inch, angry inch, angry inch / Six inches forward and five inches back / Stay undercover 'til the night turns to black / I got my inch and I'm set to attack / I got an angry inch, angry inch, angry inch". If you were wondering about the music, it's pure chest pounding adrenaline. A perfect counterpoint to this song.
The last three songs on this album are all just to come down off the high of the last track. The first one is Anesthesia, which is just about right. Seriously what a drop after the last track. Though to be fair, I most likely would have scrapped this song from the album myself. There's a part of it I don't mind, but for the most part I find this song the most basic of all tracks on the album. This is the one song you have heard on every other album by this band.
Drunk In Paris is a nice musical interlude. It's really a nice texture.
Then the album closes with The Dream Is Dead. This is the reason I thought the band was done. "Champagne glass of blood and wine / On chocolate hearts alone I dine / Candles weeping waxing tears / Ten for roses each one a year - disappear / Arrows fester in my heart / Each memory another dart / Love and death both colored red / Showing my past, the dream is dead / Another lonely Valentine's Day / I can't believe that things turned out this way / And though I hate to see you go / I know it must be so / Another lonely Valentine's Day / Nobody will break your fall / All for none, yeah, none for all / Nothing's so cruel as the truth / Join the Festival of Fools / Nobody will break your fall / All for one, yeah, none for all / Nothing's so cruel as the truth / Join the festival, my fools / Another lonely Valentine's Day / I can't believe things turned out this way / And though I hate to see you go / I know it must be so / Another lonely Valentine's Day / The dream is dead". Sure you can read them thinking it's another song about lost love, but in this case I really thought it was him singing that he was done with the band. And that aside, because of the content and what not, it was the most fitting way to close the album.
It's because of this album I miss the fact there will never be another Type O Negative album. I would have liked to see how they may have evolved with the rest of the world. Instead we will now have to just remember the legacy they left behind, and honour them by cranking this album.
8/10 - content
8/10 - production
9/10 - personal bias