ANGELIC 2 THE CORE: Highlights from a Magnum Opus

Where were you on June 22, 2016? Can you remember? Has it long since escaped your memory? Well, I can tell you what you certainly were not doing: paying attention to Corey Feldman. Feldman,best known as an actor in 80s classics like The Goonies and Stand By Me has also been releasing music under his own name since 1992. It was mostly just forgettable pop-rock, until, on June 22, 2016, Corey Feldman became a fixture in music history with the release of his fifth album. Its title? Angelic 2 the Core.

Angelic 2 the Core sucks. Every facet of this record–from the lyrics to the instrumentals to the performance to even the album artwork–shreds the senses with the ferocity of a wind turbine on cocaine. The best way one could prove this album’s incompetence is by simply playing the thing, but I’ll do my best to be your guide through the 22(!) songs and 94-minute runtime of this monument to artistic failure. I’ve selected five key tunes from this nightmare and I want to go in-depth explaining why each one is so bad, it’s good. This is not an exhaustive list: every second of Angelic 2 the Core provides something new and strangely enjoyable. I can’t even say I hate this album; its existence transfixes me on a primal level, like watching a car crash or atomic bomb footage. It’s mesmerizing. But that’s enough preamble; here are the depths of Corey Feldman’s masterpiece.

Track One: Ascension Millenium (runtime 5:37) This album begins with the processed voice of someone pretending to be Satan, which is such an apt metaphor for what’s to come that I’m jealous Feldman thought of it before I did. Running over five minutes in length and featuring a spoken word introduction, this song is clearly trying to be an “epic” opener for an “epic” record. The song begins with a processed voice chanting “ascension millenium” until Feldman drops into a vocal performance that could possibly be considered rap, if you’ve never heard rap before. As the same basic beat loops on in the background, with bass that sounds like someone chewing oats, the chorus erupts from the speakers with a slight key change and a raspy delivery from Feldman. This is the first instance on the record where he tries to imitate Michael Jackson and embarasses himself, but rest assured it won’t be the last. The listener feels every second of the song’s five minutes, and his attempt at AutoTuned crooning on the bridge turns thirty seconds into an eternity. The lyrics are, as best I can tell, a jumble of cliches like “You’ve got the feeling in your soul, you’ve just got to let it go” and “Times are hard, and this is true”. Actually, I take that back; cliches are insufferable, but they aren’t anywhere near as incompetent as lines like “It’s like a toy for your soul”. What “it” is, only the Lord knows. Truly, there could not be a better method of introducing this album to the public.

Track Six: Bad People (4:29) This song starts with a skit, which I’ll summarize: a woman says, “Corey, we’re surrounded!”, to which Feldman responds, “There are a lot of bad people out there!” When I first heard this, I wept. What I was weeping for, the joy of experiencing such beautiful dialogue or the sudden realization that I still had 16 more songs left before I was done, I couldn’t say. The instrumental kicks in with a funky guitar part that you may recognize from free GarageBand loops (seriously), and a fun little harmonica melody whose existence should be a violation of international law. The hooks here stumble like an elderly alcoholic trying to reach Life Alert. The lyrics decry “bad people” as those who “beat you, cheat you, and lie to your face”, which is a message so bland that no one can object to it; still, Feldman ruins his credibility by diverting out of nowhere to a discussion of how we’re all God’s children, which contradicts the chorus where he says that some people are just evil and he hates them. Is Corey Feldman an evangelist? Hmmmm. For the final repetition of the chorus, the music falls away and Feldman takes part of it a capella, where the punchability of his voice shines through. Then, the music crashes back in with even more atonal harmonica and some poor woman having to hit impressive high notes in the back of the mix while Feldman hogs the spotlight with his breathless warble. This song makes me support “bad people” just to spite Corey Feldman.

Track Ten: Go 4 It! (feat. Snoop Dogg) [3:21] Remember when every popular song included a massive bass drop? Corey Feldman sure does. If I was feeling charitable, I might describe this as a loving pastiche of that fleeting moment in pop music history. However, by this point I’m not even halfway done and I’ve begun to hallucinate, so I’m not feeling too charitable. This song could be weaponized against enemies of the state. Every “WUB WUB WUUUUUB” of the bass is a nail in the coffin of artistic ability. Feldman might as well be coughing up his liver for all the emotion he’s putting into his performance, and the lyrics are nonsensical to the point of nearly being abstract poetry. Have you ever felt brain cells die? If not, listen to this. Also, Snoop Dogg is here. He’s barely audible and his verse is under ten lines, so it’s not really notable, but his presence is so far afield from the rest of the track that it feels like a comedy song. Apparently it isn’t? If you want to get the full experience of this little number, check out Feldman’s performance on The Today Show. I like to imagine that all the hosts of Today love this song, and were thrilled to hear it live. I would be too, if I were deaf.

Track Eighteen: We Wanted Change (2:57) Before listening, I thought to myself, “It’s not even three minutes long! Even if it’s horrible, it’ll be short, right?” NO. DEAR GOD NO. Whoever informed Corey Feldman that making a jazzy show tune was a great idea should be arrested.  When he first starts vocalizing (I refuse to classify as singing), I genuinely thought he was a kazoo. This miracle of human evolution–kazoo mimicking–makes up most of the chorus, but on the verses he prefers a baritone most reminiscent of a sitcom character trying and failing to flirt with a woman. He also might be feigning a British accent? I’m not sure, but it sure is something. He sounds bigoted against Brits. At the end of the second verse, the double bass audibly messes up and falls out of time, which then makes the piano fall out of time. The song then collapses into an incoherent mess before ending with canned studio applause and Feldman talking about a happy hour. Is he framing this as a live performance? Is that why basic ability to play instruments was thrown by the wayside in favor of going with what is definitely the first take? Probably. Has Corey Feldman developed self-awareness? No. This tune feels more like a talentless hack trying to use a dumb joke to cover up his inability to do anything of merit. Huh, maybe Corey Feldman and I have more in common than I realized.

Track Twenty-Two: Working Class Hero (6:11) Corey Feldman covered John Lennon. Truly, we are living in the worst timeline. The guitars on this song are good, only because they were written by John Lennon, but they’re ruined by Feldman’s voice, which pulverizes Lennon’s lyrics into a foul paste that oozes through the recording. This song is also notable for being both the album’s last song (yay!) and its longest song (boo!). It’s a chore to get through this one, but at least for me it represents the light at the end of the tunnel, so I’m almost grateful for it, despite Corey Feldman’s wailing driving me slowly insane. Eventually, this album ends where it began; the devil voice closing the gates to Hell and bidding us “angels” goodbye. Maybe this album is meant as an auditory representation of Hell. That would explain a lot. At long last, it’s over.

So there you have it, a sampling of the songs from Angelic 2 the Core. This album is the most godawful, unwieldy, pointless experience I have undergone in recent memory. It’s definitely good for a laugh, at least on the first listen, so if these descriptions have piqued your interest, feel free to check it out! Don’t say I didn’t warn you, though. While Corey Feldman, no matter how hard he tries, is simply incompetent, Angelic 2 the Core stands as a uniquely personal expression of what Feldman wants to create. I suppose that’s something to be celebrated. It’s just a crying shame that it’s this horrific.