If you've been waiting for an album that combines '70s lite rock with glurpy digestive sounds, intense screaming, and coital gasping, then the long wait is over. On Nothing Special, PLU samples and chops up pop media and daily conversation and presents them as a kind of bodily involuntary response; the music is "culture" manufactured as automatically as breathing or the human body crafting a turd. On the song "Close to Me," the Carpenters have been diced: "Just like me, they long to be/ Just like me." During a pause in the rearranging of Richard and Karen, the narrator of a books-on-tape version of the Bible announces, "On the third day after his crucifixion Jesus rose from the dead," a recitation that is followed by a snippet of upbeat samba. The album's final track reconfigures some political jargon into odd poetry: "United Nations slow as molasses, United Nations no kick asses."
While the real Kenny G's music is best enjoyed in the background, the difficult listening of Nothing Special is annoying unless you give it some attention, focusing on the meaning behind the album's fractured chaos. It probably won't wind up in as heavy rotation as the other CDs in your collection of smooth jazz, but the occasions when you do listen to Nothing Special should prove memorable.