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By the look of the cover of this I think Jackson’s Computer Band is now his Computerband, but no matter, Jackson is back, eight years after his debut, with another album of frankly baffling post-pop weirdness on Warp. We’ve had it on a couple of times in the office already and I’m still yet to properly get my head around the computer-fucked compositions scattered through this schizophrenically confusing album.
It opens with ‘Blow’, with computer-ravaged vocal drawlings over skewiff heavy beats setting the scene for something which combines Flaming Lips/Apples In Stereo-esque pure pop with a gritty postmodern experimentalism which is borne out by the cut-and-paste sampling, mechanical beats and Plaid-esque modular tweaking of second track ‘Seal’...these are super-catchy melodies squeezed into the most unwieldy headfucking production possible. A canny move, and more often than not it pays off, with the almost saccharine baroque-pop melodies allowing the Computerband to get away with some pretty comically unusual sound combinations.
There are places where I’m unconvinced though...I think after a few tracks the weirdness of the production wears a little thin and the pure cheesiness of the tunes starts to smell a bit funny (no amount of processed eccentricity can keep their paean to Demi Moore ‘G.I. Jane’ from irritating), but in other places, particularly when they keep things slow, there’s a spacious Forest Swords-esque lollop to the delivery which is quite intoxicating, and even in the most insufferable parts there’s something pleasingly broken and plasticky about it all. At best it’s mind-boggling and highly entertaining, at worst it’s pretty annoying, but at least it’s weird! Well Jackson.
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