By Janiss Garza
Updated February 15, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

I, Napoleon

type
  • Music

Is this debut album the product of a mad genius, or merely a blabbering madman? Steve Napoleon — the singer-songwriter behind this quartet-seesaws between the two extremes, but strangely enough, he never loses his melodic sensibility. The music created by his band is uncategorizable — it’s loud and wild, polite and pleading, urgently sad, sarcastically cheerful. It could be called hard rock, but how many hard-rock bands put a piano concerto (”Concerto in D Minor”) on their albums? I, Napoleon also shows classical influence in the melodic structure of tunes like ”Perfect Absolution” and ”Don’t Wanna Sleep Alone,” but the approach is completely unpretentious — Mozart as compared to Beethoven. But don’t start thinking this is a group of refined, upstanding young men — they’re wildly emotional, and titles like ”Whipped Silly” and ”Sweet Cyanide” only hint at the album’s warped lyrics. I, Nap’s different elements finally come crashing together on a scary little tune called ”I Am the Idiot,” in which banging piano, sick saxophone, out-of-control screeches, and maniacal laughter attack from all angles. I, Napoleon is bound to be loved or hated. But it’s impossible to ignore. A

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I, Napoleon

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  • Music
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