Joe Ongie | Cuckold

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United States - California

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Pop: California Pop Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Type: Lyrical
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by Joe Ongie

Rip-snorting pop implosion juiced up on the smackin' lips of a folkie wet dream. The kids love it!!!
Genre: Pop: California Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. What Are You Gonna Do
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4:33 $0.99
2. (Won't You) Heal Me
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4:21 $0.99
3. St. Mark's Passion
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4:45 $0.99
4. Oh! Catherine
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4:38 $0.99
5. I Draw the Lines
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4:26 $0.99
6. Beauty Mask
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4:11 $0.99
7. Waiting for Your Jane
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4:21 $0.99
8. Broken Skyline
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6:04 $0.99
9. Halfway House
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4:22 $0.99
10. Symmetry
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7:58 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
NEWS FLASH: 2004 has seen the release of JOE ONGIE's latest and greatest CD "CRITICAL DARLING".
16 big tracks, an hours worth of breathtaking pop.
Go check it out at

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...


Mr. Smarty-Pants thinks he can write a song.

Thinks he has something to say, that somebody might want to listen.
That anybody could care.

But can it be...?

Millions upon millions of adoring fans weep at his every gesture, every sly turn of phrase.

And what about those cheekbones?

You parents out there had better keep a close eye on those youngsters, because like it or not, they are on the slip 'n slide of truly boss hits, in the water-wiggle of pure lovin' strummin'.

Watch out!


to write a review

Alan Z

Ongie Shrugs Off Sophomore Jinx
Oftentimes, an artist's sophomore effort is less satisfying than his first. Not the case with Joe Ongie and Pilgrim Soul's "Cuckold". Ongie's follow up to the semi-eponymous "Pilgrim Soul" shows his growth as a producer and arranger. From "What Are You Gonna Do"'s powerful fade-in to the final, Indian-African percussive fade out of "Symmetry", Ongie's willingness to go beyond the normal bounds of pop song writing on this disc is clear and unapologetic. His hook-making ability is well in evidence as is his sense of musical history ("Waiting For You Jane" includes a nod to Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane".).

Highlights of this disc include "St. Mark's Passion", "Oh! Catherine", "Waiting For Your Jane" and "Symmetry", but every track is emminently hummable and listenable. Unusual instrumentation abounds on this album and songs slip into next-track beginnings from previous-track fading endings. The vocal layers are miles deep at times.

The production is first-rate and the musicans are all top-notch. If you like interesting lyrics that examine familiar topics with a slightly skewed, occasionally amusing and at times somewhat dark perspective combined with intelligently written and arranged pop songs, get this CD.

Jack Gubanc

Joe Ongie is a Pop Master!
Many recording artists don't want to be called pop artists for they feel it puts them in the same category of mediocrity as the reigning kings and queens of top 40 music.
Joe Ongie is a pop artist in the category of Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Nick Lowe. Maybe you don't like all of these artists, but they had the ability to combine melody, lyrics and instrumentation into songs that ran through your head constantly. Joe Ongie deserves more recognition and should be selling more albums. Buy this album and you will not be disappointed.


Solid once again
Mr. Ongie is a world-class musician. 'Critical Darling' is still my favorite of his, but I'd put this right on par with 'Lovefest'. The opener is fun and loud, a real rocker (complete with great swells and crashes and barbershop-style "do-do-do-do's"), and after an intro that oddly reminds me of Sean Penn's character from I Am Sam, the second song is a keeper as well (evokes Sports' Huey Lewis & The News, no? That comes from a HLN fan... despite their bad rap). #3 (St. Mark's Passion) is a bit of a ballad, and though it doesn't stand out, it fits in well next to the bouncy 'Oh! Catherine', a summery-sounding cut with what sounds like a fiddle? I don't want to waste anyone's time here outlining the entire album, my own included. I like Joe Ongie's music on a whole and this didn't let me down one bit... check out at least one of his discs and work your way down the list, yeah? Good for you, I say.

Robert Kinsler/ The O.c. Register

Inventive Pop
Since the Beatles are to contemporary pop what Bach was to classical music, it doesn't hurt to tip your hat to the masters once in a while. Singer-songwriter Joe Ongie has on his second release, Cuckold. Lover's of inventive, pop-rock will go crazy over Cuckold, which features 10 gems written by Ongie.

Sean O'neill/bam Magazine

Cuckold has it's own thing going on.
Joe Ongie lists the Beatles as one of his primary influences, but rather than keying in on the odd instrumental flourishes that embellished a number of the Fabs greatest tunes, this Costa Mesa-based multi-instrumentalist finds his inspiration in the sad-sack persona, the same one that John Lennon mined so effectively. Come to think of it, the title of Ongie's CD, Cuckold - which means a man who's been cheated on - is a dead giveaway that he's on the opposing side of rock's perennial Big Stud theme. In fact, his musical and lyrical stance bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the man called E. Any record execs who feel they missed the boat when the Eels did surprisingly well ought to give this disc a serious listen. That's not to say that Ongie's music is derivative of the Eels - he's got his own thing going on - but still he might want to take a tip from E and consider adopting a stage name.

Jim Washburn/o.c. Weekly

Ongie Pop for now people!
A couple of Joe Ongie's greatest hits: "You Ready to Order?" and "Would You Like a Refill?" Only the Gypsy Den Cafe & Reading Room's denizens generally get to hear Ongie perform such palpable hits, but now you can take him home with you on Cuckold, one of the strongest pop albums to come out of this county. Think Nick Lowe, Badfinger, Emit Rhodes, the Beatles, Crowded House. Think Ongie. Ongie pop! Ongie pop for now people! Would you like a salad with that? The fair-haired spawn of Fullerton has been around: he honed his chops at the Cuckoo's Nest and Safari Sam's before moving to England in 1988, where he learned new skills. (Would you like chips with that?) When he returned to Huntington Beach, he formed Pilgrim Soul and put out a CD in 1993. Cuckold is a solo album, though he kept the Pilgrim Soul name for it, and one needn't make any allowances for it's local origin. Even the weakest songs - "St. Marks Passion," "I Draw the Lines" - boast memorable hooks.
On the best songs, those hooks sink into something deep and don't let go. "(Won't You) Heal Me," with it's layered chorus, and "Halfway House" are masterful tightwalks between effervescence and angst. "Oh! Catherine" resounds with a heartfelt warmth. The Beatles-esque "Beauty Mask" yearns to get real. "Waiting for Your Jane" may be the only pop song to reference both Tarzan and Lou Reed, while also containing the strongest dose of Ongie, in his ode to get-over-it self-reliance: "You say you know about freedom just because you're on your own/ But you're all alone/Are you as high as a kite or are you sinking like a stone/Waiting for your Jane."

Mike Boehm/los Angeles Times

Pop-Besotted Wretch Just Can't Help Himself.
Joe Ongie is a pop-besotted wretch who just can't help himself. Ongie has made a record likely to please fans of the Beatles tradition, assuming they aren't too absorbed in old faves to try something new...Ongie's lyrics come from oblique angles as he explores various shades of romantic upheaval. Most of the song scenarios aren't all that unusual or striking, except for "St. Marks Passion," an aching portrait of a man wishing he could reach out to his estranged brother. But Ongie's skills as a melodist, producer-arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist (his bass playing is terrific, and the keyboards are quite tasty too) hold one's attention through this lesson in the Byrds-like and the Beatles-esque. "(Won't You) Heal Me" is brimming with pop appeal, thanks to fine vocal hooks and cannily applied shifts in texture; "Oh! Catherine" is a fetching, fiddle driven Celtic folk-rock song with a lilt, a la the Waterboys. "Symmetry" is a lachrymose, eight-minute closer that wanders off to India at the end with tabla and sitar sounds; Ongie's plaintive singing and production make it seem shorter.