Renegade the Unicorn

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About Renegade the Unicorn

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    for the toilet next time! I had to clean off your pee! D:<
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    What you're reading right now.
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    jaw gets no respect.
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    He
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    -Cartoons

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    The Punchbowl
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    Tea at the Treedome
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    Plankton

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. CyanideFishbone's Q&A 2- Electric Boogaloo

    sup?
  2. Community Deathmatch

    noice.
  3. ohai

    This new version is sweet, eh?

    1. NegiSpongie

      NegiSpongie

      Yeah, it's really pretty.

  4. ask the girl who's been playing too much fire emblem recently

    Thoughts on my newest blog?
  5. Favorite Cartoon

    Tough choice, but I love MLP.
  6. V12 Squid

    I like this new look.
  7. Christian and the Hedgehog Boys (2006)

    ::Welcome to the first installment of Renegade's Music Reviews, a blog where I take a look at various music artists and their albums. To kick this blog off, we're going to look into a strange little album, created by one Christian Weston Chandler, or as he's known in the vast wilderness of the internet, Chris-chan. ...Yes, you read that right: Chris-chan. The same high-functioning autistic guy who created the infamous webcomic Sonichu. Believe it or not, he's dabbled in creating music over the years...if by "creating", you mean mumble-singing over pop songs. And no, I don't mean pop song instrumentals, I mean actual pop songs, vocals and all. The result, the solo project known as Christian and the Hedgehog Boys, is a shoddy, lo-fi mess of outsider music that is strangely fascinating. And as a genuine fan of outsider musicians such as the Shaggs, Daniel Johnston, and Wesley Willis, I intend to look at the Boys' debut album and see if it holds up to the already loose and varied standards of the genre. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ALBUM NAME: Christian and the Hedgehog Boys ARTIST NAME: Christian and the Hedgehog Boys RECORDED: 2003 RELEASE DATE: 2006 LABEL: Self-released PRODUCER: Self-produced GENRE(S): Pop, rock, lo-fi, outsider PERSONNEL: Christian Weston Chandler (vocals, lyrics), Backstreet Boys (instrumentation, tracks 1 and 3), Cheru Watanabe (instrumentation, track 2), Midnight Sons (instrumentation, track 4), Ricky Martin (instrumentation, track 5), Los del Rio (instrumentation, track 6), Britney Spears (instrumentation, track 7), Crush 40 (instrumentation, track 8) TRACK LISTING: So Need a Cute Girl - 0:00 Sonichu Zip - 3:20 A-U-T-I-S-M - 4:54 BFFs - 8:47 La Cocina en La Casa de Casanova - 12:43 Yellow Is A Mellow Color -14:39 Feel So Lonesome - 16:06 Christian and the Hedgehog Boys Theme - 19:27 TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 21:26 --------------------------------------------- OVERVIEW So Need A Cute Girl: The album itself opens with the cheers from a roaring crowd of girls, as this song is being sung over a live performance of I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys. Chris' lyrics, like those on the rest of this album are simplistic and direct, discussing themes of love and loneliness, concepts which not only recur throughout this album, but throughout Chris' own life. While I am wont to compare Chris to Daniel Johnston in this regard, I really can't due to one major difference: while Johnston's lyrics are simplistic and dealing with those same themes as well, he draws from his own experiences with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, making them feel more honest and heartfelt through his emotional (almost tearjerking) deliveries. Chris on the other hand sounds far more egotistical and hateful due to his lack of a lovelife. Some major examples in this song include the album's first lines ("Hey, look at me! I'm sitting here sad and lonely!", said in a childish pay-attention-to-me-me-me sort of tone), his condemnation of those with attractive partners ("Why do all of the jerks get all the pretty girls?"), lamenting over his virginity like an angsty middle schooler ("Tell me why I'm stuck as a virgin with rage"), and misogyny towards non-single women ("And I ain't never wanna hear you say, 'I have a boyfriend'."). That last lyric worries me in particular, as it sounds like a threat. Overall, this song isn't a great start to this album. And it's probably gonna get worse from here on out. Sonichu Zip: Sung over SONIC DRIVE, the Japanese and French theme to Sonic X, this song focuses on Chris' most infamous creation, Sonichu the Electric Hedgehog Pokemon. The major problem with this song is how incomprehensible it can get at times due to the source being an anime theme song about Sonic. As such, it has to be fast-paced and exciting. That fast pace, however, is a disadvantage to Chris because he is trying and failing to keep to the song's beat. That combination of fast speed, trial and error in rhythm, and lack of rehearsal result in what is the second most incomprehensible song on the album (the first being La Cocina en La Casa de Casanova, which we'll get to later). Another problem, but no less major, is the vagueness of the lyrics. They don't describe Sonichu, his origins, nor where he comes from all too well. It's almost as if Chris expects you to get it, which given his ego isn't too surprising. A-U-T-I-S-M: Speaking of Chris' ego, this song is the most blatant display of it. Once again singing over a live Backstreet Boys track (this time Larger than Life), Chris focuses on his supposed struggles with high-functioning autism. Yeah, no. While most circles would use the opportunity to perform an inspirational number, Chris instead uses it to deride people who consider him "special" because of his autism. He brags that he's better than most because he was "on the honor roll", and that autism means "silence and friends unseen". This not only probes that Chris has absolutely no clue as to what his condition is (defining it in confusing metaphors), but he wears it as a badge of holier-than-thou superiority. BFFs: At the midway point of this album, we get a fairly decent number sung over If Only Tears Could Bring You Back from the soundtrack of Pokemon the First Movie. In what has to be the strangest coincidence I've seem so far, both the source song and Chris' new lyrics both share a theme of nostalgia, albeit on opposite sides of the coin. While Midnight Sons' original focused on romantic nostalgia, Chris' new version, unusually, takes a more platonic approach in discussing friends (especially best friends) who have grown apart from you. With that in mind, the theme of loneliness, unlike the other songs on the album, isn't centered on wangsty "WAAAA I CAN'T GET A GIRLFRIEND" bullshit. Instead, we get a genuine song focusing on longing for friends from way back when. Those who've delved into Christory like I have will notice that at one point, Chris did have friends, which makes the lyrics more poignant and truthful. What's more, the word "boyfriend" is only mentioned once, and in the context of the song, it's listed as one of the reasons as to why Chris' unnamed female friend is unable to spend time with him. As someone who has had friends drift apart over the years, BFFs is a song I can relate to. Remember when I said that I couldn't compare Daniel Johnston and Chris in my analysis of So Need A Cute Girl? Just for this song, I take it all back. Even though it's extremely unlikely that Chris is aware of Johnston's existence, the similarities in lyrical content and hopeful tone to the latter's song True Love Will Find You in the End is too obvious not to notice. As much as I've ribbed on Chris in the past three entries, this song strips away the egotism and holier-than-thou attitude to show who Chris really is - a sheltered and utterly lonely child trapped in an adult's body with no sense of guidance or discipline. La Cocina en La Casa de Casanova: Using The Cup of Life by Ricky Martin as the basis of a Latin pop number that translates roughly to The Kitchen in The House of Casanova, Chris uses his rudimentary high-school level Spanish to create a mostly-incomprehensible but straightforward yet at times vague story. Taking the liberty of translating the lyrics from Spanish to English, I found that they tell a rather standard tale of a man named Casanova (whether this is the historical Casanova, who was Italian and not Spanish, or a man simply named Casanova is not known) inviting several men and women to his home for a party, which much of the song focusing on him preparing the party food in his kitchen, with the guests joining in. While the song is half-garble and half-chants of "Ole! Ole! Ole!", I have to give props to Chris for putting his limited skills to good use in creating a bog-standard if fun number. Yellow Is A Mellow Color: Easily the most "meh" song on the album, Chris takes the Macarena, one of the most popular songs/dance crazes of the 90s, and uses it to sing about...things that are yellow, with Sonichu mentioned here and there. Yeah. There isn't much I can say on this one. Just an earworm with Sesame Street-standard lyrics. Feel So Lonesome: Returning once more to the themes of loneliness and love that pervade Christian and the Hedgehog Boys' debut, Feel So Lonesome uses (You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney Spears to illustrate Chris' lamentation of his love life. Rather than condemn others for having a partner or show scorn towards taken women, Chris instead tells himself to keep trying with his "attraction sign" (a sign with which he'd loiter around various places listing his strict requirements for a partner at the time), even if women don't like it. As such it's more upbeat than songs like So Need a Cute Girl, which are more angry and cynical. Once again, I'm reminded of Daniel Johnston and his song Get Yourself Together from his 1983 album Hi, How Are You, which I will also review in the near future. More Johnston comparisons will be seen in Christian and the Hedgehog Boys' second album Comeback!, recorded during the "Ivy Saga" of 2009, one of Chris' most creative and euphoric periods in his life. Christian and the Hedgehog Boys Theme: The album finally closes out with a "theme song" introducing the fictional band members (Chris, vocals; Sonichu on bass, Sonic on guitar, Shadow on keyboards, and Black/Blake Sonichu on drums). Notably, it uses an instrumental of Open Your Heart by Crush 40 rather than the song itself. The lyrics, combined with the "live" feel of the opening track, almost gives it an unintentional Sgt. Pepper's vibe. Given the themes of love combined with that comparison, one might be inclined to call this a very loose concept album, with the sequel Comeback! being a somewhat more solid example with the same themes. -------------------------------------------------------------- FINAL THOUGHTS So, what did I think of this album overall? If you ask me, the production is absolutely shoddy, the lyrics range from good to trite and immature, and Chris can't sing to save his life. On the other hand, Chris tried his damnedest with what little he had and the songs themselves give us a look into the mind of a sad, strange little man who feels that he has to armor himself from reality to escape his pain. In many ways, he reminds me of Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, who himself fell into a state of mental illness and isolation from the outside. I myself enjoy the album, and if you're fascinated by the bizarrely true story of Chris-chan or just like outsider music in general, I'd recommend Christian and the Hedgehog Boys, if only out of morbid curiosity. SCORE 4/10
  8. Don't you know you have to leave this town, Gary?

    I never knew Chris-Chan experimented in outsider music?
  9. Ask Miss Smiles!

    I found your jam?
  10. Ask Renegade

    That's a good question. I like cookies and cream the best, honestly.
  11. Ask IG

    thoughts?
  12. Ask the Kat

    don't question my superior taste in music?
  13. Ask the Kat

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIQM6FB_-Z_kG2Ruum5DOFxHaSTrDZZRK Just listened to this album, better than taylor?
  14. Ask the Kat

    Compare these two versions of They're Red Hot: RHCP - Robert Johnson's original - Which is better, in your opinion?
  15. Howdy

    Welcome to SBC!
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