Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Wesley Willis: Fabian Road Warrior

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

After four years, hundreds of songs and well over a dozen CDs, Chicago-based singer and 320-pound chronic schizophrenic Wesley Willis has a major-label record deal. Of course, the song remains the same: In about three minutes, Willis shouts a few sentences over a pre-programmed Casio keyboard track, then recites his chorus a few times, then concludes with "Rock over London, rock on Chicago" and a commercial slogan like "TCBY, The Country's Best Yogurt." It's fascinating and primal, and often very funny: The new "Alanis Morissette" includes the lyric, "You are a rocking maniac, you are a singing hyena, you are a rock star in Jesus' name, you can really rock Saddam Hussein's ass." Otherwise, there aren't an awful lot of lyrical surprises on Fabian Road Warrior, which features Willis' usual tributes to musicians ("Porno For Pyros," "Tripping Daisy," "Silverchair") as well as his popular rock 'n' roll sentiments ("Shoot My Jam Session Down," "Rock Saddam Hussein's Ass," "Rock 'n' Roll Superhighway"). As always, too much time is spent on what are essentially Casio solos, and the band tributes ("Pollo 9," "Solid State," "Spank Wagon," "Brutal Juice," "Loud Lucy," and so on) follow the exact same script with minuscule variations. More sound effects than usual are scattered throughout these 24 tracks, and that gets a bit distracting too. But Fabian Road Warrior should spread the word of Willis further than it's ever been spread before, and that can only be a good thing.