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Our Music Year No. 49: The Presidents of the United States of America, self-titled

By From page A10 | February 18, 2013

Artist: The Presidents of the United States of America
Title: “The Presidents of the United States of America”
Year: 1995
Format: CD-R (Spotify)
Grade: B-

Upon reflection, irony feels considerably more fashionable now than it ever did in the ’90s, leaving that decade feeling optimistic and earnest.

That’s a feeling that’s still present in the self-titled debut from The Presidents of the United States of America. Instantly, when people describe the ’90s as droll and humorless, I’m pointing to The Presidents, Weezer and reruns of “The Simpsons” as reminders that we weren’t taking ourselves that seriously.

It’s hard to believe that too many members of ’90s youth escaped the decade without hearing this record’s “Lump” and “Peaches,” neither of which is remembered for its sardonic outlook on life. This is a record that starts with a song about petting a kitty.

There isn’t a dollop of insincerity when Chris Ballew sings, “You seem cool for a naked chick in a booth / Let’s be pals some day” in “Stranger.”

I’m sure if I’d come to this album in 1995, I’d have fond memories, but picking it up in 2012 is a window back into the era.

Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
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