Atom and His Package

    Attention! Blah Blah Blah


    Adam Goren is the exact mental picture that should pop into your head the second you hear the word NERD. He’s a skinny guy with glasses who studied neuroscience in college before devoting himself to music full time. He is also one half of the band Atom and his Package — the other half, the "package," being a Yamaha QY700 sequencer.


    He comes back with some of his staple satirical wit and humor heard on 2002’s Hamburgers EP and 2001’s Redefining Music. This time around, the nasal-voiced Pennsylvanian is a little less concerned with the lyrics and more involved with his delivery. Some of the songs still carry that air of nerdy humor, like in his version of those anti-smoking "Truth" ads in "Friend, Please Stop Smoking," in his political statements in "The Palestinians Are NOT the Same Thing as the Rebel Alliance, Jackass" and in his devotion to his grandmother in "Does Anyone Else in This Room Want to Marry His or Her Own Grandmother?" If those songs sound a little too much, Atom also writes nursery rhyme-like songs, like "Mustache TV," where he talks about putting a mustache on your television set.

    The main difference in this album from his previous LPs, though, is that he experiments more with his synthesizer. This means Attention! Blah Blah Blah is his most musically advanced album yet, and the guitar solos are amazing on all the tracks. It also means he no longer writes with the same intensity as he did on his other albums. Some of the it can be still be picked up, like on the track "For Aliza, Whenever She May Sleep," a melodic tribute to a sleep-deprived girl. He says: "This is the Up and Down / This is the In and Out / This is the Quiet and Loud / This is the way is the way we pack it up and ship around." The song "I’m Downright Amazed At What I Can Destroy With Just A Hammer" is too choppy to flow with the rest of the songs on the album.

    Overall, Attention! Blah Blah Blah is for Atom fans, because they will know to appreciate his quirky sense of humor and offbeat lyrics. Aside from the music, the ink drawings of disfigured faces surrounded by hand-lettered liner notes are astounding and even beautiful. Just looking at his picture of a bald man with a brain coming out of his mouth reminds me of one reason CDs will never die: packaging like this is what makes music great.