The Nashville collective celebrate their 30th anniversary if only to make me feel very old indeed. I think it's high time for a really great Lambchop album and with the unveiling of lead track the 18 minute 'The Hustle' we might just get it. This is an excellent electronic/kraut jam with Kurt Wagner's soft brown voice and the usual delightful horns giving it that Lambchop class.
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30 years of Kurt Wagner making music as Lambchop, now there’s a thing eh? He is still blessing us with his world-weary, rolled-tobacco voice and his witty, sardonic way with words. On ‘In Care Of 8675309’ Kurt’s voice is processed a little and sounds almost.. Hmm, auto-tuned? Yes, autotune, but in a gentle way; it works beautifully against the softly muted instrumentation. A tender and fragile opening track wherein the band flow magnificently -- delicately yet strongly like slowly unfolding rose petals. Yet another twilit ballad to add to the hugely impressive canon.
Kurt stated recently, “this is the album my wife will hopefully like.” So there’s the clue: Mrs W is partial to a jazzy arrangement with a bit of piano and weaving nocturnal electronica. Fine by me too. Maybe the Wagners have been listening to a bit of Nils Frahm; whatever, this is mighty sweet. It would appear to be a loved-up record, this. ‘Flotus’ is gorgeous, really. I’m used to the autotune now. ‘JFK’ skitters and glitches over a lazy bass. Nods to the electro-blues of James Blake on ‘Howe’. And starlit piano throughout. ‘Old Masters’ veers towards Cafe del Mar chillout territory. The 18-minute mellow kraut jam ‘The Hustle’ closes a curious record which is far closer to ear candy than I had ever dared dream from Lambchop.
Is this record a classic to stand beside Nixon? We’ll need more listens. It’s certainly very welcome for those drawing-in nights. Close the curtains, put FLOTUS on and settle yourself in your cosiest chair.
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