Chocolate & Cheese
Dozens of great and very strange underground bands were signed to major labels in the wake of Nirvana’s phenomenal success, but one could argue that none made better use of major-label money than rural Pennsylvania’s beloved basement duo Ween. Where Dean and Gene Ween had displayed a grand sonic imagination on albums like The Pod and Pure Guava, with Chocolate & Cheese Ween finally got to decorate its dreams with luxury upholstery rather than scavenged materials. Chocolate & Cheese continues the stylistic cavalcade of Ween’s prior albums. But this time the sound quality is extraordinarily rich, and the song structures—though still proudly aberrant—are finely crafted. “Baby Bitch,” “Drifter in the Dark," and “Don’t Sh*t Where You Eat” are flat-out great songs, with no qualification. But the album's real pleasure is the way it shines a light on the duo’s instrumental acuity and vocal skills. “Take Me Away,” “Freedom of ‘76," and “A Tear for Eddie” are exquisite. Like the rest of the tracks here, they apply a constant standard of musicianship to wildly unpredictable song forms.