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LABEL: Virgin Underground RELEASE DATE: 1996 GENRE: Eurodance
// review by Jeff

Wham bam, no thank you, ma'am.

Who wants to go camping? No, no, put away your tents, your insect repellent, and your excessive quantity of s'more-encompassing graham crackers. I'm not interested in visiting the wilderness and fending off rabid coyotes and grizzly bears with a pointed stick. I'm talking about camp, basically anything that is portrayed as artificially extravagant and cheesy at the same time but is still enjoyed as an art form. Embodied by individuals including Divine, RuPaul, and even the legendary Liberace, the camp style has always had a deep cult following. And we can add to the mix Candice Jordan, slightly better known as "Sweet Pussy Pauline". Teaming up with the short-lived dance duo Candy Girls, we now have another campy eurodance tune to add to the pile, right on top of everything by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Candy Girls put out a total of four singles between 1995 and 1999, one of which being the, um, shall we say "exuberant" tune that is "Wham Bam". Well, it certainly delivers a wham bam to the brain; unfortunately, this wasn't the wham bam I had in mind.

Before I talk about each track on this single, I want to show you the "lyrics", spoken by Sweet Pussy Pauline in the sassiest way you could imagine. They are as follows:

Let me tell you one thing before you walk out the door...
You took my money...
You took my heart, you took my love, you took my body
But when you touched my money, you took too much!
Never will you grace these doors again...
Get out, and take that dog with you!
It's over for me...
You want me to give you a ride?
I'm sorry, there's something in the boots.
Oh my God, what have I said?
Don't go! I love you! I love you! I love you!

*incoherent crying noise*

There you go. She also calls her ex-lover a "crustacean" once. I don't think I even need to say any more.

But I will. First on the list is the Candy Girl Dolly Mixture Edit, which features not only Pauline's excellent spoken word poetry but also a rather generic eurodance melody in the background, only broken up by some decent but average piano work behind her lyrics. You'll remember her words, but you'll forget the actual instrumental part. Same goes for the Candy Girl Dolly Mixture 12" Mix, which basically provides more of the same...and some extra beats! Huzzah.

The Sharp Boys, who were active between 1995 and 2006, added their touch via the Sharp White Limo Remix. Starting off with a harder jungle beat, these Sharp blokes seem to really like mashing up some of Pauline's words to form a repetitive "hit the dog" voice sample. Hit the dog... hit-hit-hit the dog... Yes, fellows, let's. As for the rest of the remix, it's unimpressive, filled with plenty of "donk" sound effects and a cheap two-second melody reminiscent of about 90% of all euro-trance song from 1991-1995. The even more loudly thumping The Baby Doc Mix might wake you up with its far more trancy, acidic, and flangily hypnotic backing instrumentals. It modifies the original's melody slightly, but really, its highlights are the more psy-trance elements. It's probably the more interesting remix of the two, but that's not saying much.

As an added bonus, they threw in Fee Fi Fo Fum (12" Mix), one of the Candy Girls' previous singles also featuring Sweet Pussy Pauline. The house vibe is strong here, although the "ooma-shaka-laka" sample is a tad bizarre. Luckily, the campy recitation of lyrics is rather subdued, and she no longer sounds like a confused ex-lover. Now she just sounds desperate with a certain line she repeats that I don't think I can openly repeat here, but to summarize, she wishes to engage in intercourse with an obese individual. That's all I'm saying. The song itself is tame, and I wish I hadn't heard the lyrics. My brain is spoiled for life.

And there you have it: mediocre music combined with even worse lyrics. If you're a follower of the camp and the kitsch, you might like this. But for the rest of us, Wham Bam is a sad excuse for a tune and is best pushed down deep in the trash bin and forgotten. Or better yet, take the disc camping with you and hope a bear sneaks off with it.


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