Never could one have predicted a time in which fans wanted to hear more profanity and tongue-in-cheek insults from an artist. Electronic rap duo 3OH!3 have unknowingly conditioned their listeners to expect an energetic and moderately profane experience while listening to anything bearing their name. With their sophomore release, Streets of Gold, the fast-talking pair delivers 14 tracks dominated by group backing vocals and [what sounds like] the same synthesizer melody. This album contains the most parent-friendly song collection ever associated with 3OH!3, which will take some acclimation for long time listeners.
3OH!3 thankfully haven’t lost a talent for writing catchy songs, noticeable first with “My First Kiss”, featuring Ke$ha’s glittering notoriety for a mere 15 seconds. Ke$ha is the most fitting female counterpart to the confident, cocky vocals of Nat Motte and Sean Foreman, even if their verses never intertwine. This story of two schoolyard Casanovas is told over stomping drums and a simple synthesizer hook.
As Streets of Gold unfolds, the listener cruises past the downright boring [“Déjà Vu”] and what sounds like a discarded Beastie Boys track [“We Are Young”], finally arriving at the album’s unconventional crowning glory: “House Party”.
Beginning with the oversimplification of “I’m going to have a house party, in my house,” the rambunctious, wild track ‘’House Party” instantly demands attention and doesn’t let go. Profanity isn’t in short supply at Streets of Gold’’s halfway point as 3OH!3 confess to excessive and everyday party habits and talk down to DJs and clubs.
Having been released as a single in early summer, “House Party” had plenty of time to name itself as the anthem to many fans’ summer vacations.
Lyrics of an unexpected nature hide within Streets of Gold, often at the album’s lowest points. These range from the inspiring title track [“You paved your way on empty roads…but tonight you walk on streets of gold,”] to a tale of denying pre-apocalyptic hookups in “Love 2012”.
With Streets of Gold, Motte and Foreman have told a bland story of what they’ve been introduced to since their ubiquitous “Don’t Trust Me” was released: women, house parties and perpetual touring. Although 3OH!3’s second album doesn’t meet expectations, the duo’s trademark snark and energy will undoubtedly resurface again.