Suppose that back in the ’70s David Bowie became hopelessly addicted to candy bars and amphetamines instead of heroine and cocaine, and the result would probably sound something like Ima Robot. Monument to the Masses is the sophomore release from one of the most ADHD, spastic, rambunctious sounding rock bands to ever release a record.
Despite maintaining the five-year-old on a sugar binge energy, Monument lacks the quirkiness and irreverence that made their brilliant, if largely ignored self-titled debut so unique. Songs are simpler, have cleaner production and rarely deviate from the standard rock formula. In short, Monument is an album written for the radio. While the musicality may have lost some of its wackiness, the lyrics have been mercifully spared a similar fate–the album is rife with memorable lines such as “Find your mommy / spread her legs and climb back up inside.” Front man Alex Ebert keeps things fresh throughout, soulfully crooning on one track only to be white-boy rapping on the next.
Monument to the Masses is another fun pop album from Ima Robot, but it’s hard to ignore how great it could have been, had Ima Robot decided to use their whole ass instead of just half of it.