Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors
David Longstreth has struck out on his own for this Dirty Projectors record. The band is gone, and what we are left with is his left of center take on dance music. Dirty Projectors have always been somewhere between art rock and experimental, if that genre even exists, yet without female vocals this album in particular is especially weird. The tracks are glitchy, often coupled with sweet crooning, to further the awkward narrative and really keep you unbalanced. "Death Spiral" has an element of being a love song, but then you realize the entire track is about the end of something rather than a celebration of that thing. Much of the album verges toward "to much information", almost as if you are looking in at someone who you aren't supposed to. It feels wrong on one hand but then on the other it is exciting and fascinating. The real star of the record is the production with arrangements that are as diverse as they are inspiring. Longstreth is able to craft these super intricate songs that feel like jazz at one moment then seamless shifts into a heavy electronic vibe. Most of the elements of the album make you want to hate it, none of this should be good, but somehow Dirty Projectors make it work, and work really well. This record may draw comparisons to Bon Iver's 22, A Million as it is another indie artist venturing into the looping, splicing and electronic world yet this record is so much more melodic and doesn't suffer from the same ego that Bon Iver's did.
What is at the center of this album is heartbreak. Longstreth never shies away from his own sadness but He doesn't let it drag the album down. Just when you think He is getting to sappy there is a little tone or a small change that never allows the album to get bogged down. There are so many moving pieces to each song that really they should not work. This record should sound awkward and be almost unlistenable, but somehow all the elements come together to make something weird sound fantastic. The lyrics are also so specific you feel like maybe they should not be for you, yet they really are. It is almost like Dirty Projectors has deconstructed a great song about heartbreak, mixed it up, slammed it back together and amazing the result was something beautiful. Now it will be perfectly acceptable for people not to get this record, I am not even sure if I really do, but if you give it some time and give it a fair listen there really is so much to like here. It is a record you want to play for your friends, but you don't because you can't imagine anyone else actually enjoying it, it is just too personal to share. The record kind of reminds me of the GE commercial with the super weird looking monster who eventually blossoms into something beautiful, if you hang in there you'll find it to.
8.2 out of 10