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Oh the classic mid-career self titled album. What will it yield? Well early track 'Little Bubbles' is rather soft, sounding a lot like Scritti Politti and their most wispy but this band are known for unpredictable twists and turns so we're sure there's plenty look forward to getting our head around here. 'Up in Hudson' is certainly a horn filled 'Trapped in the Closet' soundalike but the fact that this isn't Green Gartside is the biggest surprise of all.
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Never trust clever people. Remember how clever 10cc were? They wrote great songs but they were just far too clever. That's why 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' was a haunting piece of pop brilliance interrupted by sections of awful music ...they were so clever they couldn't resist it.
So there's clever, there's ambitious and there's idiotic. Dirty Projectors David Longstreth has straddled the whole lot in his time but his music has always been enjoyable and rather fascinating. Here he moved in to a sort of white man R&B territory that sounds something like Justin Timberlake singing songs from R.Kelly's 'Trapped In The Closet' whilst spiralling round and round in a tumble dryer. Most of it is close to unbearable with the sort of 'confessional' lyrics that even over sharer Mark Kozelek would reject for giving too much away. This is matched by a kind of oompah music hall take on modern day R&B with vocals pitched all over the place. They go up, they go down. He pitches them high, he pitches them low. This is the album that truly has it all in terms of pitch.
Amidst the chaos there is something that fascinates me. On 'Up In Hudson' Longstreth does the most remarkable Green Gartside (Scritti Politti) impersonation. It really is quite astonishingly accurate...like that guy on the Grumbleweeds who could do Jimmy Saville (are we still allowed to talk about that)?
Is there anything I enjoy here? Very little. On 'Little Bubble' perhaps there are shades of Prefab Sprout circa 'Andromeda Heights' in the saccharine balladry and again I really liked that Green Gartside impression. Spot on.
The rest? Rubbish. Clever, studied, intelligent piffle.
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