There are a few serious contenders for the title of mashup king of the internet (Vic Berger is a solid choice), but we here at The A.V. Club have always been fans of Neil Cicierega, whose mashup album Mouth Sounds we described as “akin to dropping acid at a Media Play going-out-of-business sale.” Now Cicierega has returned to complete what hereafter will be referred to as his “Mouth Trilogy” with Mouth Moods, a new 56-minute mixtape that’s streaming on Soundcloud and available for free download on his website.
Although, like its predecessors, Mouth Moods casually tosses a grenade into the past few decades of pop cultural history, it also brings an enhanced orchestral scope to Cicierega’s work. Yes, Smash Mouth is back—this time mashed up with one-hit wonders Nine Days’ one hit “Absolutely (The Story Of A Girl),” Barenaked Ladies, Smashing Pumpkins, and Foo Fighters. Paired with the Inception soundtrack, the isolated vocal track of “Y.M.C.A.” sounds downright majestic, and the famous opening guitar line of “Stairway To Heaven” lends “No Scrubs” a poignancy it didn’t quite achieve at the 1999 VMAs. Cicierega even manages to make Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week”—which pops up at various points throughout the album—sound poetic by pairing it with the instrumental track of R&B classic “Stand By Me.”
Then again, Mouth Moods also has a track called “Annoyed Grunt,” which combines the theme from Home Improvement with (among other things) that “woo-ah-ah-ah-ah” throat-clearing noise from “Down With The Sickness” and Homer Simpson burping, so any gravitas to be had here is relative.