Personnel: Marc Irwin, Howard Breitbart, Dave Kane , Emily Bell Spitz, Lenny Williams (piano).
Recording information: The Ronald Reagan Building And International Trade Cent (2009-2010).
The Capitol Steps are up to their old tricks on their 30th CD, lampooning politicians and celebrities in side-splitting musical parodies of familiar songs, always leaving no stone unturned in their goal to rile the thin-skinned. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid cash in with the opening track, "Return to Spenders"; President Obama is the target in "You Can't Hide That Nobel Prize" (to "You Can't Hide Your Lyin' Eyes"), though ex-CNN pundit Lou Dobbs tries to question Obama's nationality in "Secret Kenyan Man." Tiger Woods' sexual escapades are worked into "Fly of the Tiger" (to "Eye of the Tiger"), while Sarah Palin's daughter's ex-boyfriend's decision to cash in on his brief fame is exposed in the pun-filled song "In the Nude" (to the old swing hit "In the Mood"). A former Gitmo prisoner dreams of being released in New York City to become a "Taxicab Driver" (to the Beatles' "Paperback Writer"). The sketch comedy is equally effective. The detective character Hugh Jim Bissel is revived in the narrative "A Detective's Story: The Iranian Candidate," while "Obamamania" spoofs the commercial potential of the President's name being added to products ("Oreobamas -- black enough to make history, white enough to make Republicans feel safe"). Tracey Stephens makes a perfect Sarah Palin in "Everything Comes Up Roguey." Even if the Capitol Steps tend to recycle some of the same melodies as they write new lyrics, their material remains fresh, as U.S. politicians provide plenty of new material every time they speak. ~ Ken Dryden