Aurelio Voltaire: Ooky Spooky (2021 stereo mix) (Vinyl LP)

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Product Description

­­SIDE 1
1 Land of the Dead
2 Zombie Prostitute
3 Cannibal Buffet
4 Day of the Dead
5 Blue-eyed Matador
­­SIDE 2
6 Bomb New Jersey
7 Stuck With You
8 Dead
9 Reggae Mortis
10 Hell in a Handbasket
Purchase in Europe for fast, inexpensive shipping:

Information in English here. Click to order LP.

Also in stock: Aurelio Voltaire’s The Devil’s Bris LP — second pressing. And Ooky Spooky CD with original 2007 Stereo Mix in the 2015 digipak edition.


  • Aurelio Voltaire’s 5th album from 2007
  • LP on 140-gram Magenta w/Black Marble vinyl, includes full-color lyric sleeve.
  • First time on LP, edition of 600
  • Remixed in 2021 by Aurelio Voltaire & Tom Gardner at Rift Studios, NYC
  • Mastered by Martin Bowes of Attrition in The Cage, England.
  • Includes a track from the Cartoon Network movie Billy and Mandy’s Big Boogie Adventure
  • Includes a duet with Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls


    Carpe Noctem: “…what you might expect to hear while getting drunk at a Mexican restaurant in Transylvania on the Day of the Dead – that is, an inspired and irreverent mix of European folk and Spanish influences, with touches of swing, New Orleans jazz, country, and ska thrown in for good measure.”


    Returning to the original joyfully macabre multi-track recordings, Aurelio Voltaire completely remixes his 5th album. Sounding fresh, luscious and ever-so dark and spooky, hidden elements of the original recording are heard for the first time. There’s a warmer string texture and enhanced overall sound.


    “It’s a Halloween party in a digipak,” Voltaire comments about Ooky Spooky, his most hilariously irreverent CD to date. The album contains a duet with The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer, a track from a Cartoon Network movie (“Billy and Mandy’s Big Boogie Adventure”) plus his crowd-pleasing songs about zombies, devils and dancing skeletons. In fact necrophilia, cannibalism, the undead, blasphemy, sacrilege and going to hell in a hand basket are just a few of the charming topics covered on Ooky Spooky.


    Back are the violins and cellos but new to the Voltaire sound is a horn section that brings to mind images of a mariachi skeleton band. But there is no doom and gloom here, mind you. The album bounces along with a mixture of klezmer, swing and ska that brings to mind such spooky-fun classics as Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” or “Hell” by the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Voltaire’s love for Cab Calloway is evident in the song “Cannibal Buffet” (which seems straight from a Betty Boop cartoon) and more so in “Land of the Dead” which Voltaire wrote for the opening credit sequence of the Cartoon Network movie “Billy and Mandy’s Big Boogie Adventure.”


    As serious as it gets on Ooky Spooky is “Stuck With You,” a duet with The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer. It’s about a bickering married couple, but even on this one kittens are drowned, Korean bayonets are employed and skeletons sing to each other from side-by-side coffins. “I got all of the serious songs out of the way on Then And Again,” comments Voltaire, “specifically so that Ooky Spooky could be a non-stop party of fun songs about the undead and hell and devils and skeletons and all of the other fun stuff that’s so close to my heart.”


    All Music: “A full new winner in the realm of truly black humor. With Voltaire happily embracing mariachi horns as a new element to his music — not perhaps as sudden a shift as Johnny Cash adding them to “Ring of Fire,” but with a similarly enjoyable effect, matched with the great cover art — the result is probably one of the best musical fusions all around, not to mention a perfect Tejano album under another name (not too strange when you realize the Eastern European origins of both that and Voltaire’s previous efforts as a whole). The kick-up-your-heels, if your feet haven’t rotted away, kick of lead single “Zombie Prostitute” was already familiar — “I had a stiffy/For the stiff in front of me” is just one perfect line of snark among many — and unsurprisingly benefits from both the swirling strings and the brass interjections in equal measure. Meanwhile, seemingly the-joke-is-all-in-the-title efforts like “Bomb New Jersey” and “Reggae Mortis” prove to be thorough gutbusters, while Amanda Palmer from the often similarly-minded Dresden Dolls takes a great guest turn on “Stuck with You,” a duet between obsessively dueling lovers who take it all the way to the grave and beyond. Throughout, Voltaire’s excellent singing remains his not-so-secret weapon, jauntily vocalizing about white boy bullfighters and cannibal banquets with total élan.”

    See the full Aurelio Voltaire catalog


    Release History

    LP: 140-gram Magenta w/Black Marble vinyl, with full-color lyric sleeve. Limited Edition of 600. Meticulously remixed from the original multi-track. Released September 2021.

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  • Additional information

    Weight 1.2 lbs
    Label

    Projekt

    Release Year

    2007

    Variations

    Vinyl LP

    Reviews

    1. padmin

      A review from Vampire Freaks:
      When asked to describe his music, Voltaire once said its ‘Music for a parallel universe where electricity was never invented and Morrissey is the Queen of England.’ In the instance of his fifth full length release, Ooky Spooky (out on Projekt Records) that description is as apt as any for classifying his work. Try as I might, I could not find a label for what he does! In the course of his recording career, beginning in 1998 and running to the present, Voltaire has made music that takes Goth culture, dresses it in its geeky best, and makes it art that defies genre every time. Ooky Spooky is merriment made music from the first song, The Land Of the Dead, and the party lasts until the closing notes of the album. Featured as the introduction to Cartoon Network movie, “Billy and Mandy’s Big Boogie Adventure,” this song is an oddly melodic account of the life of character Grim, short for Grim Reaper. It offers some very bizarre lyrical images that are based on the cartoon, and music that sounds like it would be more at home in a cantina somewhere south the border of sanity. Land of the Dead sets the tone for the entire album with its flippant lyrics about all things dead. The second episode in this macabre missive is Zombie Prostitute, which was one of the first songs I heard from this new album via MySpace. What can one say about songs that make necrophilia funny? In the case of this reviewer the only thing that can be said is Voltaire is the master of the genre! This song takes tongue in cheek to a whole new level, in that the tongue and cheek are those of his undead love. Definitely one song to cheek out(drum roll please!). Ooky Spooky is a great album, so great you may need a support group after you listen to it.
      The bottom line: This album is eleven tracks of gruesome, gorey giddiness guaranteed to get you giggling, no matter how tragically Goth you think you are. -Benny Hell

    2. padmin

      A review from The Serious Comedy Site:
      Voltaire, the American musician and not the French writer, claims his comic music CD Ooky Spooky is a Halloween party in a jewel box. After listening to this very weird and very good collection of funny songs with a macabre sense of humor, I must agree with the artist’s assessment of his CD.
      A Halloween party CD is also pretty much all I can come up with to explain what Ooky Spooky is. I am not sure if it is cowpunk with a certain Mexican influence because of the horns and guitar work, especially in Blue Eyed Matador, but there is a bit of Crash Test Dummies meet the Purple People Eater feel to this Voltaire CD. A little surfing suggests Ooky Spooky is comic Goth music but since I am way too old to know what Goth is, I am willing to believe that.

      What I do know about Ooky Spooky by Voltaire is it certainly is fun to listen to, the music is very good, the lyrics are darkly funny, and the two put together certainly work. This is especially true for me in Bomb New Jersey which almost starts out as a kiddie song meets South Park’s Blame Canada. I remember Jersey trying to have a contest to get a song for itself like New York has New York New York. I am not sure Bomb New Jersey would have won the judges’ votes but the write-in votes might have pushed this tune over the top.

      I must admit though I am not a big fan of Stuck With You featuring The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer. I kind of like the song itself but the violin really gets on my nerves. Then again, this is but one song on an 11 funny song CD.

      The weirdest song on this Voltaire CD has to be the closer, Hell in a Handbasket, which shares a few lyrics with Anka’s My Way and has a Baptist church choir meets When The Saints feel. No, really, I am not kidding: My Way, Baptist church choir, and When The Saints.

      Whatever you do, go to Amazon and listen to a few samples of Ooky Spooky. It is going to make your day and might even convince you this is one very strange, original, and hard to nail down CD.

    3. padmin

      A review from Sequential Tart:
      Voltaire’s latest CD is full of the black humor fans have come to expect, with far more horns and even less apology than some of his previous music.
      While the whole CD is macabre merriment, several tracks in particular stand out. Zombie Prostitute manages to make the taboo hilarious, with a bawdy punch-line ending I won’t give away. Day of the Dead gives an alternate explanation for the traditional celebration and makes me envision drunken dancing skeletons in sombreros.

      In Bomb New Jersey, Voltaire lets us know how he really feels about where he grew up, telling us what lengths he’d go to in order to see it eradicated. Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls duets on Stuck With You, a song about a bitter and morbid married couple with an almost — almost — O. Henry twist ending, while Rastafarianism and Voodoo combine to comedic effect on Reggae Mortis.

      The closer, Hell in a Handbasket, has a rousing Dixieland feel while mocking self-righteous religion. What more could you want from a CD that professes “Almost no skeletons were harmed in the making of this record”?

      All-in-all, a great CD with witty lyrics and textured music. Enjoy! -Anita Olin

    4. padmin

      A review from Pine Bluff Commerical:
      One couldn’t ask for a more perfect album to play at a Halloween party than Ooky Spooky, assuming said party is for liberally-minded adults who aren’t easily offended. Stylistically characteristic of Voltaire are the Gypsy, Klezmer, Latin and Celtic styles that make the sound of Ooky Spooky as diverse as the lyrics are perverse. The darkly humorous lyrics contained in every song explore such compelling themes as zombies, cannibals and the Devil.
      If Tim Burton had created “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as the goth epic that Hot Topic makes it out to be, Voltaire would’ve written the music. One song, “Stuck With You,” is a duet with Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls fame in which a married couple hate each other in life but come to appreciate one another’s company in death.

      A stark contrast to the seriousness of previous album Then And Again Voltaire intended Ooky Spooky to be a “non-stop party of fun songs about the undead and Hell and devils and skeletons and all the other fun stuff that’s so close to my heart.” That being the case, songs such as “Zombie Prostitute” and “Day of the Dead” make Ooky Spooky a success. —Stewart Fuell, Pine Bluff Commercial entertainment writer

    5. padmin

      A review from Music TAP:
      I rode into town just minutes after a blazing sun had set. After riding on that lonesome ribbon of god-forsaken asphalt with shimmers of heat obscuring my vision of what lie further down, I finally rode into a small Mexican village. The heat was still rising from my heavily dusted cycle and felt unbearable on my already roasted nuts. As I rode slowly past shuttering buildings, I heard merry singing with violins and what seemed a whole Mexican collection of mariachi players. I was already parched and needed some of the best cold beer that I could find with tequila chasers to take the sting of the day out of my system.
      With the poetry of an old western movie, I strolled into the bar after parking my bike all by its lonesome just outside the bar. It was a bit of a dive, certainly fitting for what occupied the room. The place was darkened but, as my eyes adjusted, was filled with people at tables, drinking and rowdy, largely entertained by the band and a scrawny, strange guy with the damndest haircut I’ve seen, then and since. He wore a wide sombrero and was dressed in traditional mariachi garb. But something was different…and wrong, even though the music was entrancing. He was singing a pretty good song called “Day of the Dead” amidst whistling, boisterous cheering, and yelps. There was a bevy of what looked like skeletons dancing, both on the stage and around the bar as my eyes became more aware of the surroundings. It must be near or on the day that they celebrate that Day of the Dead what with the skeleton costumes and all.

      I strolled to the bar, ordered a beer, and threw my money on the counter, enough to indicate to the barkeep that I’d not be leaving too soon, to just keep the beers coming. As I turned to face the stage, I had, by now, realized that the music was damn good. And funny, like a song like I heard some years back on a jukebox called “When You’re Evil,” a great song about the wiles of evil, gettin’ blamed for everything. Then this guy sings “Bomb New Jersey” and I get the feeling, with the similarities, that this guy and that one might be the same one.

      Hmmm. He announces that this next song is one from his new album, Ooky Spooky. I make a mental note.

      He brought out a cute chick who sang a song with him, “Stuck on You,” I believe it was called. I’m enjoying this guy. I turned to ask the bartender the name of the guy; he croaked out, “Voltaire.” I’ll have to remember that name. I signaled for a refill and when I swept my arm to pick up the beer mug, I hit the arm of the barkeep, a bit too hard obviously as it broke at the wrist. It lay there on the bar. I picked it up while the singer sang about a “Zombie Prostitute.” It was then I noticed that I was in a bar not unlike that one in the movie, From Dusk to Dawn, with all those vampires. The place looks innocent at first but then you realize the place is filled with people on the other side of normal. Just like this place. And when that prostitute laid her hand on my leg, well, she wasn’t alive, that’s for sure. I ran out of there as that group was singing along with “Hell in a Handbasket.”

      As I revved my cycle, pushing her hard to that same stretch of highway, I had but one thought in my mind, “I’m gonna have to look up that Ooky Spooky album.” Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. -Matt Rowe

    6. padmin

      A review from Mick Mercer:
      “Oh,” Lynda beamed knowledgably, recognising the jaunty vocal tones when I played it in the car, “it’s that Rolf Harris bloke!” She compounded this by saying it all sounded so much like Frank The Baptist, but she redeems herself later, so stay tuned.
      In a musical landscape where the violin dances and a mariachi sub-strata is threatened by a lurching beat, humour is scattered throughout, with singalong dementia everywhere. ‘Land Of The Dead’ skips into life with lyrics like Flipron set to Imbecilic. ‘Zombie Prostitute’ is frillier, with filthy revelations thrown into a corpseabilly racket, horns blaring blearily. ‘Cannibal Buffet’ capers capably with a boozy bubbling shuffle but it’s one jape too many, even at this stage, when there’s plenty of possibilities of musical dexterity inherent in these compositions to make this all a bit darker, but they’ve gone for the open-headed idiocy, which is fine, but you know it could also be something else. Slapstick wins out every time.

      ‘Day Of The Dead’ keeps thing simpler and it works better for it, with the creamier ‘Blue-eyed Matador’ also rejuvenating your ears somewhat after such saucier openers. Unfortunately ‘Bomb New Jersey’ was slipped onto the record without anybody sentient aware of this sabotage, and its excruciating irritations will always ruin the record. I can imagine his resentment bearing lyrical fruit sometime but this is such a lightweight item full of naff International jokes it could have been left off instead of simply going off.

      ‘Stuck With You’ is serious again, with a comparatively sedate rhythm and mellow violin, the male/female vocals doing a Voltaire equivalent of ‘Fairtytale Of New York’ Early on you get ‘You’re one to talk sleepyhead, get your fat arse out of bed.’ This gravitates towards, “You poked my eye, I wear a patch, I should’ve given you one to match / Did you forget, you got me back? You chopped my thumb off with an axe”, and that’s me choosing the more polite exchanges. Then it ends happy ever aft, somewhat against the odds, and you’ll feel warm all over, even if that may be the vomit. ‘Dead’ is practically a mature ska escapade with some troubled, inventively sly lyrics, and ‘Reggae Mortis’ has a skittish dignity, before the multi-mangled classics gets reprised as ‘Hell In A Handbasket’ which takes ‘My Way’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘When The Saints Come Marching In’ from behind, and probably a few others thrown in, for a crowd-sleazing special finale.

      It’s a very good album, ‘Bomb New Jersey’ aside, but you obviously have to be in the right mood, or the right isolation ward. He’s now proved he can do the humour, if there was ever any doubt, just as he’s proved he can juggle death-defying themes, so hopefully next time we’ll see a different side coming through as well. For now this is inspired lunacy and you’d be mad to ignore it.

    7. padmin

      A review from Liar Society:
      Having gotten all of the seriousness out of his system on Then and Again, Voltaire returns with an album that is practically filthy with tongue-in-rotten-cheek gallows humor. Although three of Ooky Spooky‘s eleven tracks feature the word “dead” in their titles, you couldn’t possibly mistake this for a maudlin mope-fest; the jumping rhythms of the mariachi-tinged “Day of the Dead” and the Jamaican flavor of “Reggae Mortis” give the record the feel a transnational dance macabre that celebrates all that goes bump in the night.
      “Bomb New Jersey” gives several cogent reasons for the annihilation of the Garden State. “Hell in a Handbasket” returns to the heretical roots of Voltaire’s “God Thinks,” giving hypocritical religion a hymn that’s hard to forget. (See also: “Dead.”) And Voltaire’s duet with The Dresden Doll’s Amanda Palmer is to die for. Literally. Kittens are drowned, mothers are stabbed with bayonets, and yet somehow they manage a sweet sentiment out of all the blood and gore.

      On Ooky Spooky Voltaire has kept the Old World gypsy style of his previous work mostly intact in the face of an ever expanding repertoire of musical styles. The addition of jazzy horns on several of the album’s best songs adds another interesting layer that gives a definite party feel to the album as a whole. Ooky Spooky may just replace “The Monster Mash” and “Dead Man’s Party” as your Samhain shindig soundtracks. You really can’t go wrong with an album that references both sodomy and cannibalism. Rating: 4.5 out of 5. -Jack

    8. padmin

      A review from Gothtronic:
      Voltaire is still relatively unknown in Europe but this could change if the band would decide to start touring over here. Voltaire is also known from the comicbook series Oh My Goth! and Deady. Voltaire has it’s already fifth album out with Ooky Spooky, which is a very strong recording, released on the Projekt label of Sam Rosenthal. Voltaire makes some sort of cabaret folk with lyrics with a strong humoristic content. Voltaire has resemblances with regards to thematics and form with artists such as the film producer Tim Burton and in style it is somewhat comparable with Dresden Dolls. Voltaire however is musicwise more versatile and the instrumentation is more rich with a.o. violin,s cello, banjo, guitar and a horns section. Various styles are integrated into the folkmusic, such as klezmer, ska, country, jazz, mariachi and Ennio Morricone atmospheres. Each song tells a little story, while the thematics of the song fit perfectly into the gothic realms. That is if you have some sense of irony, sarcasm and humour in general, since the lyrics are quite hilarious. ‘Zombie Prostitute’ deals with a zombie whore who seduces Voltaire, so he gets her disease and turns into a zombie gigolo himself. Also ‘Cannibal Buffet’ is very funny. The story in this song is that Voltaire, who’s on a cruise with his fiancee, sinks with the ship and gets stranded on an island where a pair of hungry eyes look down upon their on the beach stranded bodies while they end up being the feast dinner of a bunch of cannibals that luckily did learn some manners: ‘Missionaries came to this place. They taught us manners. Now we cannibals always say grace. (prayer) And then we eat your face!’.
      In ‘Bomb New Jersey’ Voltaire tells what he would wish to do to get that garden state, which brings him bad memories regarding the people’s mentality, wiped off the face of the earth. : ‘I would go tell Jong Il Kim that they’re making fun of him in a kimchi-hating town that’s known as New Jersey. Better yet I’ve got a plan. I will convince Pakistan that India can be found somewhere in new Jersey.’ en ‘It’s a place named after a sweatshirt. So what more can you expect, sir? And if you try to express your individuality they will throw you to the ground and they’ll kick you in the teeth. Like they did to me’ are examples of the very humoristic lyrics with a serious undertone in this song. In ‘Day of the Dead’ Voltaire gets acquainted with the skeletons of the dead who celebrate their yearly party because hell is full for the moment. This is all packaged into a musical coat which sounds like a zombie Mariachi band is arranging the music to this party.

      Furthermore Ooky Spooky has songs of which the titles speak for themselves regarding the content, such as ‘Reggae Mortis’ and ‘Hell in a Handbasket’. ‘Stuck With You’ is a duet with Amanda Palmer from Dresden Dolls that deals with a quarreling couple that after having done terrible things to eachother such as drowning kittens, stabbing a mother to death with a Korean banyonet, pulling out the eyes and chopping of the thumb, and with a feelling of sentiment are complaining that they are still next to each other in the grave. . ‘Land of the Dead’ deals with the adventures of Grim, better known as grim reaper: ‘The Minotaur is my butler, the Cyclops my valet. A Centaur drives my chariot that takes me down the way. Over a river made of fire, through a street that’s paved in bones. I’ve got a dozen zombie skeletons to walk me to my throne…..I’ve got a dragon’s blood jacuzzi the Gorgons think is cool and a seven-headed Hydra living in my swimming pool’. This song is also in the opening credits of the Cartoon Network series Mandy’s Big Boogie Adventure. Voltaire has managed with this album to show he is on top of his game with genre defying music that takes the cliche themes adressed to the gothic subculture, such as hell, skeletons, zombies, death and the devil, and thematically exploits that to the fullest with humour and very versatile music as his strongest weapon. A very cool album! Rating: 9 out of 10. -TekNoir

    9. padmin

      A review from Carpe Nocturne:
      Voltaire is a madman and he must be stopped.
      Not content with having reinvigorated the goth scene with gypsy strings, crooned vocals, and sardonic wit – which is to say with (gasp) actual talent and a sense of humor – he has now taken the insanity one step further and added (take heart, dear reader), a mariachi horn section. An inspired and irreverent mix of European folk and Spanish influences, with touches of swing, New Orleans jazz, country, and ska thrown in for good measure.

      And this must be stopped I say, because he’s ruining things for countless mediocre stompy goth/industrial/what-have-you bands that disguise bad lyrics, worse singing, and an overall lack of talent with distorted vocal effects and who churn out 10-track albums (if you include the pretentious sample-filled “intro”) of virtually indistinguishable and interchangeable songs. How are we supposed to go back to that crap after the delightful mayhem of Ooky Spooky?

      Voltaire, for the uninitiated, is a New York-based musician who also is an accomplished comic and animation artist (those of you old enough to remember when MTV actually played music might remember an innovative stop-motion station ID featuring the MTV logo stopping through an Hieronymus Bosch-inspired Hellish landscape—that’s Voltaire’s). His first release, The Devil’s Bris which came out on Projekt Records in 1998, featured all of what since have become his trademarks: violin and cello arrangements reminiscent of Eastern European folk music, a crooning style of vocal delivery that has been referred to as “goth cabaret,” and a wicked sense of fun built around gallows humor, sarcasm, and iconoclasm. Each subsequent album has offered variations on this formula, while also experimenting to varying extents with genre and approach.

      Ooky Spooky is Voltaire’s fifth release and is the best thing he has put out since The Devil’s Bris—which is saying quite a bit! The album’s lead-off track, “Land of the Dead,” which was written for the Cartoon Network movie Billy and Mandy’s Big Boogie Adventure, immediately signals the overall direction of the album through a frenetic fusion of strings and brass with a swing feel—there’s even a “Pennsylvania 6-5000”-esque call and response between Voltaire and his band! Tracks 2-5 all foreground Voltaire as raconteur—as teller of ooky spooky stories. “Zombie Prostitute” recounts a clandestine encounter in a “tomb of ill-repute” that transforms the narrator into a zombie gigolo and leads toward the inevitable punchline, “Baby keep the tip.” “Cannibal Buffet” is a Cab Calloway-inspired swinging ditty about the unfortunate aftermath of a shipwreck. “Day of the Dead” is a frisky number in which a narrator, overtop Mariachi brass, recalls his experience as amazed spectator to Day of the Dead goings-on in Mexico when the dead return to the world of the living to party—particularly enjoyable in this track are moments when Voltaire’s various laughs and screams are echoed and mimicked by instruments in his band. “Blue-Eyed Matador” slows things down a bit and, overtop a “Bolero”-esque Spanish trumpet, spins a tale of a contest for the narrator’s soul in which the bull-fighter narrator unfortunately misidentifies his true opponent.

      Ooky Spooky switches gears rapidly on tracks 6-8. “Bomb New Jersey” is less a story than a heartfelt plea on the part of the narrator for various invading forces to wipe New Jersey off the face of the earth. Presented as a stirring march, its hard not to read this track as at least somewhat biographical as Voltaire recounts the intolerance of New Jersey denizens toward non-conformity. “Stuck With You” changes things up again and introduces what amounts to the most serious song on the album. It’s a duet with Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls that tells the story of a bickering married couple that compete hyperbolically to one-up one another (he poked her eye, she chopped off his finger with an axe; he drowned her kittens, she stabbed his mother!) But the song – which reminds me very much of the duet between The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl called “Fairytale of New York” – ends sweetly with the couple’s postmortem affirmation of their love.

      Rounding out the album are three more songs each adopting a different style and approach. “Dead” shows Voltaire at his most sardonic. It starts with a Tango feel and then picks up the pace as it discusses the randomness of death, God’s perversity, and the futility of prayer: “So don’t bother asking for cures or an answer. / God is the one who gave you the cancer.” “Reggae Mortis” tells the story of an encounter with a Jamaican zombie which prompts the narrator to ponder, “What if I were to give that stiff a spliff?” Of all the different styles deployed on Ooky Spooky, Voltaire seems least comfortable here with the Reggae, which may be because his vocal style doesn’t easily lend itself to the genre. The album concludes with the absolutely brilliant “Hell in a Handbasket.” This is a New Orleans-style jazz track along the lines of “When the Saints Go Marching In” but Voltaire isn’t marching off to see the angels. Instead, he’s headed to the true land down under – where he’ll be in good company! In typical Voltaire tongue-in-cheek style, this infectious track is less about the supernatural and more about the hypocrisy of the self-righteous who invent the idea of hell and foist it on others. The only ones truly going to hell, according to Voltaire, are the “poor fools who believe.”

      Ooky Spooky is a blast and one hopes that the album will find a wider audience than the insular goth/industrial community because it has so much to offer. It is witty, accomplished, and ranges widely in terms of style while retaining a playful emphasis on all things dark and spooky. On second thought, it’s not Voltaire that needs to be stopped; rather, it’s everyone else who should stop and listen to Voltaire.

      Rating: 4 stars out of 4
      Great If You Like: Tim Burton productions like The Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas, Danny Elfman, The Decemberists. -Cypher

    10. padmin

      A review from Bloodtype Online:
      I like to think that I have quite a varied taste in music. I’m forever mixing up what I listen to; from Death Metal to Film Scores, through to 60’s pop and pretty much anything in-between. Of course, there is the odd exception, but we won’t dwell there.
      Despite the variety in what I listen to I’ll admit that I had never heard any of Voltaire’s previous 4 albums. So with Ooky Spooky this was going to be a new experience for me. Let me just say, what an experience it was too. I really don’t know what I expected; I chose not to read the accompanying blurb until after I had given it a blast; however a Mariachi/Ska/Headfuck laced with some of the funniest lyrics I have heard for a long time was not at the top of my expectations. This truly was one Hell of a pleasant surprise.

      Lyrically the main theme here is Horror, no real surprise with titles such as Land of the Dead, Day of the Dead and, in my opinion the best song title ever, Reggae Mortis. This, however, isn’t your regular Horror style music, oh no, this has the tongue firmly embedded in cheek, and quite possibly someone else’s cheek too. There honestly isn’t a serious moment on the CD, and is all the better for it. From the opening tune through to the closing Hell in a Handbasket I was chuckling away to myself.

      The humor contained herein never detracted away from the music itself though. This is serious toe-tapping stuff, all strings and horns-a-blaring, as if a Mariachi band went partying with Ennio Morricone, the Cryptkeeper and a shot of Nitrous Oxide (you look it up). The music truly does defy description, needless to say though it hasn’t left my player since I received it. So often the music business, as with movies, takes itself far too seriously. With Ooky Spooky, Voltaire seems to say “Fuck that, let’s have a good laugh and forget about everything else”. I challenge you to not end up in a good mood after listening to this.

      Ooky Spooky is feel good music for those that aren’t offended easily, as there are some choice lyrics about cannibalism, necrophilia amongst many other subjects. If you are looking for something new, and a little off the wall, I recommend you pick this up at the earliest opportunity. This is music for the open-minded and those that like a rocking good laugh!

      Ooky Spooky indeed!! Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

    11. padmin

      A review from Bliss/Aquamarine:
      Hilarious tongue in cheek dark humour, irreverent and zany, taking all the ‘death and hell’ goth stereotypes and making them into an album full of warped fun. Those who think goths have no sense of humour really ought to check this out. The music itself is not goth in any usually accepted sense however, combining mariachi, Eastern European folk, theatrical/cabaret music, ska, country, as well as the ironic parody of military music in Bomb New Jersey, and the duet with the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer, Stuck With You, which takes the same sort of tone as The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York, but with the addition of Voltaire’s trademark macabre humour. The lyrics are often downright rude, with references ranging from prostitution to necrophilia to bestiality, along with the occasional dig at organised religion, so needless to say, this album is best avoided by those of a prudish nature. It’s laugh out loud stuff, very naughty but clever with it.

    12. padmin

      From All Music

      Having experimented very successfully with a straightforwardly serious album in Then and Again, Voltaire followed up his hilarious limited-edition live disc with a full new winner in the realm of truly black humor in Ooky Spooky. With Voltaire happily embracing mariachi horns as a new element to his music — not perhaps as sudden a shift as Johnny Cash adding them to “Ring of Fire,” but with a similarly enjoyable effect, matched with the great cover art — the result is probably one of the best musical fusions all around, not to mention a perfect Tejano album under another name (not too strange when you realize the Eastern European origins of both that and Voltaire’s previous efforts as a whole). The kick-up-your-heels, if your feet haven’t rotted away, kick of lead single “Zombie Prostitute” was already familiar — “I had a stiffy/For the stiff in front of me” is just one perfect line of snark among many — and unsurprisingly benefits from both the swirling strings and the brass interjections in equal measure. Meanwhile, seemingly the-joke-is-all-in-the-title efforts like “Bomb New Jersey” and “Reggae Mortis” prove to be thorough gutbusters, while Amanda Palmer from the often similarly minded Dresden Dolls takes a great guest turn on “Stuck with You,” a duet between obsessively dueling lovers who take it all the way to the grave and beyond. Throughout, Voltaire’s excellent singing remains his not-so-secret weapon, jauntily vocalizing about white boy bullfighters and cannibal banquets with total élan. -Ned Raggett

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