The Network- Money Money 2020 Pt II: We Told Ya So!

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Ryan Harlan (DJ Darkstar)

The best highlight for me with the year 2020 coming to an end was in December 2020, a mysterious band only known as the Network released the long anticipated follow up album to their debut album Money Money 2020.

Money Money 2020 Pt II: We Told Ya So! Is the second album from the Network after their last album. The album features a whopping 25 songs, eleven less from their debut album Money Money 2020.

There is not a lot known about this band other than that the Network are a six-piece new-wave band that formed in 2003 and are often mistaken for being a side project of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time Green Day.

However, what is certain is that according to the band is they were brought together to fulfill an ancient prophecy. The prophecy foretold that the Network and its band members would be chosen to issue a stern warning to mankind in the form of music. Their first album shined the headlights upon the follies and vanity of mankind allowing them to rapidly achieve fame and fortune.

After their rise and the foundation of the Church of Lushotology. They claim to have seen riches beyond imagination, abandoning stardom and focusing efforts on time travel and the salvation of things beyond the human grasp. Their travels took them through time and space seeing the future told in the prophecy.

They issued a stern warning for the release of the album stating that Money Money 2020 pt. II will serve as the final lesson for humanity leaving the decision up to us the listener whether we head the warning.

Well, that’s the long way of getting into this album. I probably should give my thoughts on it now for you to read about. This album has everything that you’d want in an album political commentary with social commentary, conspiracies, and a reference to The Office. You want it, The Network has it.

The audience should be aware that even though there are some nonsensical songs on the album such as “Hey Elon”, “Amnesia Vagabond”, and “Flat Earth”. There are some songs with more serious topics such as “Respirator” that deals with the Covid-19 Pandemic even though it has very upbeat music that contrasts with the lyrics in the song.

I know that there are serious topics in the world, but I should let you know about these before you decide to listen to the album. However, if you are a fan of the music and not necessarily the lyrics then you’ll enjoy the combination of punk music and Devo-esque new wave music.

I’m going to break these down in a way that’s digestible to you as there are 25 songs to cover in this album,

The start of Money Money 2020 Pt. II begins with “The Prophecy” a final warning from The Network. The song gives an underlying message to the listener to illustrate their travels through time and space, “We’re right you’re wrong and we told ya so!” that ends with a cackling laughter to drive home the warning to the listener

Traveling from “The Prophecy” we arrive at the first five singles off the album, “Theory Of Reality”, “Trans Am”, “Asphyxia”, “Fentanyl”, and “Ivankkka is a Nazi”. These cover a wide range of topics lyrically and sonically are different from each other. “Theory Of Reality” is a much more of a punk rock track accompanied by synths while “Fentanyl” is a slower new wave song that’s very reminiscent of New Order or Depeche Mode.

The rest of these songs also fall in this sonic spectrum, but lyrically cover more serious topics and get more political. Obviously by the title, you know what the view of the Network are based on song titles. For some context, this was written during 2020 with everything that was happening in the world and that’s why The Network chose the lyrics they did for these songs.

Ok, good? Moving on.

The next songs off the album we’ll look at are “Digital Black, “Flat Earth”, “Degenerate”, “Pizzagate”, “Carolina’s Ultimate Netflix Tweet”, “Respirator”, and “Squatter”. These next batch of songs in the album is where the nonsensical songs start to appear with titles like “Squatter”, “Pizzagate”, “Flat Earth”. “Pizzagate” is also the only instrumental song on the album, which the Network had not done before with any of their other songs.

These are all great songs as The Network starts to move away from the more guitar driven songs and into songs that are more synth heavy. The only song that still has a guitar associated with it “Carolina’s Ultimate Netflix Tweet”. These songs lyrically show that the Network can make hit songs with different sounds with topics about conspiracies like Flat Earth as well as more serious topics with upbeat music as a contrast to the lyrics.

The next songs after those that we’ll look at are “That’s How They Get you”, “Tarantula”, “Cancer Is The New Black”, “The Stranger”, “Hey Elon”, and “Popper Punk.” These are very similar to the last few songs that we looked at as we’re now close to the end of the album. The highlights from this are in the lyrics to “Hey Elon”, which is about Elon Musk and the car that he shot into space and “Tarantula”, which are about tarantulas.

These two songs very much sound like if Devo made these songs with a feel of social and political commentary of the times. The Network are creative in the way that they compose their lyrics and music as the sound is different from bands in the new wave genre.

Still with me? Okay, we have five more songs to look at and I’ll give you my thoughts on the album.

The last five songs off the album to bring it home are “Jerry Falwell’s Pool Party”, “Heard Immunity”, “Time Capsule”, “Threat Level Midnight”, “Amnesia Vagabond”, and “Art Of The Deal With The Devil”. I don’t want to repeat myself, but similar sounds again are in these songs. The one’s that stand out to me are “Threat Level Midnight” and “Jerry Falwell’s Pool Party”. “Threat Level Midnight” obviously is a reference to The Office and Michael Scarn but easily the best off the album as the punk roots come to light and take hold on this track.

“Jerry Falwell’s Pool Party” is probably the only song that’s very similar lyrically and musically to Green Day as there is a similarity between this song and one that Green Day recorded. That’s why it’s easy to see why listeners might confuse the two bands.

The Network outdid themselves with this album, especially with it being 25 songs long. However, it’s worth the time to sit down and listen to each one of them. This album easily could be broken up into a couple albums, but I’m glad that The Network decided to ultimately go this route after almost 20 years of inactivity. There’s never a dull moment with this album from the seriousness to whimsical tracks making each song a highlight of their own and that’s what makes the album enjoyable to me.

They even made a TV appearance as well for the first time on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performing “Threat Level Midnight” from an undisclosed location for anonymity reasons. Who knows if we’ll see them again? I do though think we’ll most likely see them again if the prophecy holds true.

Then again it is up to you to decide if you head the final warning that the band has laid out for humanity but if you don’t want to that’s fine.

You will have to remember just one thing, In the words of The Network, “We’re right you’re wrong and we told ya so!”