"But it’s always an arresting LP, choc-full of surprises, and just about able to bridge the gap between arty and accessible..."
Dirty Projectors – Rise Above
Enlivened by an absolute masterpiece of an opening track, this LP is a real rollercoaster, and something of a nostalgia trip. The band throws virtually everything into the opener What I See; harpy voices, sudden time changes, silences, the odd bit of discord, drastic editing, you name it. However horrible and unworthy of pop that might sound, it plays like a dream and to be honest it’s very difficult to get past that first three minutes. Luckily the following track No More is a pleasant work out owing a fair bit to High Life and Gospel with the backwards guitar bits of Revolver. It’s lovely.
I think we can safely say this LP is "arty". It’s all very reminiscent of skanky, MacClaren-esque stuff like the Slits and BowWowWow, but when was that ever a bad thing? Scratchy rhythms abound, sometimes things shuffle along quite nicely, like on Depression, at other times Dirty Projectors seem to like stopping and starting the rhythm mid song; (Six Pack). Somehow it works. At one point (during Thirsty and Miserable) the music threw up a mental image of an early Talking Heads absolutely wasted on acid, (if you can imagine Byrne wasted…)
Now and again there is an excursion into another musical landscape (such as the strange “show tune” Police Story), now and again things get a tad elegiac – if sublimely weird - as with Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie. But it’s always an arresting LP, choc-full of surprises, and just about able to bridge the gap between arty and accessible. If you haven’t already, give it a listen.
Words: Richard Foster.