William Hung

The San Francisco Bay Area is filled with lots of dorkballs, gaylords, punkers, and other people who just sort of suck at life. William Hung was one of them, but now he's graduated to celebrity status. Despite getting the shaft on American Idol, Willy's gone and made a record of cover songs. If he keeps going at this rate, he's gonna stop sucking soon.

Inspiration is probably the best album that I've bought since the new Slayer record. At first, it didn't sound too good, but neither does half of the experimental shit that I buy. And, really, that's what this is; it should be filed next to the Boredoms and the Melvins, because it's a noisy, tough listen. But I gotta hand it to Willy: He's made something original. His version of Elton John's "Rocket Man" is loaded with melody and ear-tickling harmony. The screeching notes at the end of "I Believe I Can Fly" are a little harsh, but Hung makes up for it with a rendition of the Eagles' "Hotel California" so laden with reverb that it sounds like he's singing inside a long, dark anus.

This record may not warrant repeat listens, but it's cheap enough for any smart shopper. You get the entire album and a 40-minute DVD that chronicles Hung's escape from Suckdom -- all for $9.99. What's more, the CD packs a two-for-one deal: It's part cover songs, part self-help book. In between jams, William stops partying for a second and shows off his soft side with inspirational spoken-word tracks. Will's got guts. He's living his dreams. I dream, but I never do anything. Man, this album truly is an Inspiration. I'm not gonna sit around and waste any more time having sucky daydreams and eating SnackWell's. I'm gonna get out there and suck real hard. -- Todd Lamb

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