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Posts Tagged ‘4.5 Beards’

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

PROS: effectively experimental | change in pace

CONS: Karen O can be a frog

Soon after “Do You Realize” was named “Oklahoma’s state rock song” The Flaming Lips must have grew tired of pleasing the masses.  On the latest album, this psychedelic pop has degenerated into a crunchy nonsensical pile of sound.  I mean that in the best way.  Embryonic is an ingenious layering of textures through which lead singer, Wayne Coyne, leads us on a sort of psychedelic journey.  While the lyrics and compositional aspects of the music are by no means spectacular, it is their presentation that is spot on.  The thought that most frequently crosses my mind when I listen to Embryonic I bet the studio is a mess…I mean absolutely trashed.  By the sound of this music, it seems like Coyne is just walking around smashing on objects lying around the room and pushing buttons on synthesizers with no particular method to the madness.  But then you realize, in the midst of all this noise, a very careful bass line is emerging.  And then if you can sift through all the crunching and crashing you will realize that these sounds have quickly evolved into drumbeats.  Still drenched in overdrive, distortion and the like, the first track “Convinced of the Hex” rises from the sound.

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Flight of the Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky

PROS: catchy | quality musicianship | never drawn-out | great replay value

CONS: “Fashion Is Danger” | few true “new” songs

I Told You I Was Freaky is, from beginning to end, undoubtedly fun – and perhaps the best comedy music album released in recent memory.  Though ten of the thirteen Flight of the Conchords tracks on this album have been released as singles on the American iTunes store, I Told You I Was Freaky is the first time these songs have been put together in one package for worldwide distribution, and more importantly, this is the first chance fans have gotten to own these songs on an actual disc.

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Erik Enocksson - Man tänker sitt

PROS: effective use of minimalist composition | original soundtrack style

CONS: less folk-influence than previous work | could use elaboration

Chances are you have never heard of Erik Enocksson, and it is a downright shame.  The reason is most likely due to limited promotion, as well as the fact that much of Enocksson’s work is available only as digital downloads or limited edition physical copies.  Enocksson, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, is a minimalist composer and folk artist.  To date, Enocksson has released four discs: two soundtracks, one 7”, and a concept album.  His latest release, Man tänker sitt (translated roughly as One’s Own Thoughts or Man’s Thoughts*), is the soundtrack to Henrik Hellström and Fredrik Wenzel’s film of the same name (which also goes by the English name Burrowing).  Though Years For Beards has not gotten its hands on a copy of the film, a Norwegian promotional text about Man tanker sitt by Fairplay Entertainment says that Enocksson’s soundtrack is an “extraterrestrial musical experience that follows the film’s low-key story about Swedish suburban lives.”

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