A Song for Gene and Dean: A Ween Appreciation
If the cult-fave jokesters are really calling it quits, it's time to pay tribute
The 10 Best Ween Songs
Part of what made Ween so appealing was the obvious love the band had for its musical heroes. In Ween’s hands, pastiche became a kind of holy homage where the imitation outdoes the original. “Gabrielle” is the band’s pitch-perfect take on Thin Lizzy, from the galloping rhythm to the over-stuffed lyrical rhyme schemes. It rocks.
“Flutes of the Chi”
From 2003’s mellow triumph White Pepper, “Flutes of Chi” is meticulously produced, absolutely gorgeous, basically nonsensical mumbo-jumbo. But on a sunny day, maybe feeling a little dazed, when that backwards guitar solo kicks in, the world makes perfect sense.
Gene nails the soaring space-rock melody, and the moment when Dean’s guitar solo kicks in will give you goosebumps. Plus, whooshing sound effects!
It’s the details that dominate on this recounting of a particularly memorable party. Tri-colored pastas, cream puffs, games of chances, smoooth sax. The wife and I thank you very much.
“You Were the Fool”
Mystical country-folk with a crystal flowing melody, purring pedal steel, and slyly grinning fiddle that might trick you into thinking it holds some higher wisdom. Or maybe that’s no trick at all.
The most intense track on what I think is the band’s best album, “The Mollusk” is synth-drenched prog-rock portentousness with a straight-up nasty breakdown. Turn on the black light.
I could probably list seven songs from “The Mollusk,” but this trancelike mantra has a chorus that’ll stick in your head after one listen and that you’ll be able to sing along with after three.
“The Stallion” Suite
A five-part song suite spread across multiple albums, “The Stallion” is also a pretty fair encapsulation of the band’s career, as it moves from freaky, distorted ramblings to a kind of grandeur.
“It’s Gonna Be (Alright)”
Genuinely moving lonely-boy soul. For late nights, broken hearts, and take-me-back mixtapes
“Roses Are Free”
On 1994’s Chocolate and Cheese, this was a catchy little synth-pop jam with chord changes that killed. Live, it was uplifting, heart-stirring, an ear-to-ear grin of a song. Gene’s melody would make a black-metal band do whatever it is they do instead of smile, and Dean’s sliding sixths and arcing refrain light up the sky. As life advice, “Resist all the urges that make you want to go out and kill” is bested only by “Eat plenty of lasagna till you know that you’ve had your fill.”