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Whole Newt World ()

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The 15th album from the popular political parodists Capitol Steps consists of material performed by the troupe in late 1994 and early '95, just after the mid-term elections swept Newt Gingrich and his Republican disciples into Congressional control for the first time in 30 years. The new Speaker of the House and his Contract with America are the source of the most incisive comedy on this collection, including the Aladdin-inspired title song and an ingenious Mary Poppins parody, "Supercallousmeanandnastyrightwinglegislation." In a similar vein, "Bye, Bye Big Bird" takes on the political dispute over PBS funding, and "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Foley" is a hilarious sendoff for the deposed Democratic Speaker of the House. The second half of the album is less consistent, focusing heavily on the O.J. Simpson murder trial, then in its early stages. The jokes about Kato Kalin, F. Lee Bailey and Judge Ito tend to be less sophisticated and don't hold up as well over time as the political satire. And if the zingy lyrics by Elaina Newport and Bill Strauss continue to impress throughout, the boisterous vocal performances (which include mediocre impressions of Gingrich, Bill Clinton, and Mario Cuomo) begin to grate by the end of the record. ~ Evan Cater., Rovi Hide synopsis

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