Album Review

Dirty Projectors, The – “Rise Above ” – [Dead Oceans]

Jawbone   1/14/2008   A Library, CD

You know that little piece of lint that goes flit, flit, flit in the corner of the screen as the frames roll by? Annoying, yet intriguing. Impossible to look away (or in this case, stop listening). Welcome to the world of the Dirty Projectors.

What we’ve got here are three acts in one. There’s the wailing folksinger, off in one room, caterwauling like a crucified Tim Buckley with a dagger in his side. In another room, there’s two women coming up with harmonies tighter than identical twins. In fact, they sound like two heads coming off the same body, with strange melodies, like a made up language. Then there’s the band, playing Caribbean rhythms all herky jerky, like Capt. Beefheart’s Magic Band on vacation in St. Kitts. Throw them all in the same room and count 1, 2, 3… Ladies and Gentlemen, the Dirty Projectors.

Brooklyn based David Longstreth, and his current cast of rotating characters, chose to rework Black Flag’s 1981 “Damaged” on “Rise Above”, with the lyrics as a jumping off point. The music bears no resemblance to the original, or anything else you’ve probably ever heard, for that matter.

Their 2005 “The Getty Address” was a concept album (using the lyrics of “Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. 1”) about Don Henley contemplating suicide and looking for the “shape” of love. Huh? Go figure.

LANGUAGE: “FUCK” on 3. “Depression” & 6. “Police Story”.


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