Friday, December 16, 2016

Albums of the Year # 10 Lambchop

Adapted from a Song of The Day post a month back.

'The initial plan was to make a record that maybe my wife would like. The music she listens to on her phone is often commercial pop, commercial hip-hop - she's a big Beyonce fan. I thought, 'I would love to be in her playlist,' to pop up on her phone. That was a big motivation.' Kurt Wagner

A late contender in a year jam packed with wonderful records. Lambchop's latest FLOTUS, (First Lady of the United States - perhaps it's dedicated to Wagner's wife), is something of a feast. On the surface at least could be a companion piece to Bon Iver's latest in that it's informed by Hip Hop, Modern R&B and Electronica from Krautrock onwards and filled with the strange, disembodied vocals of modern experience.

While I don't really take to the Bon Iver album at all, FLOTUS is a much warmer object, more mature and not swamped in the all-encompassing self-pity of that other record. First song posted here NIV is an impossibly smart amalgam of old and new that seems far too short and left me at least wanting more. The record's closing track, The Hustle, more than compensates, being no less than eighteen minutes long, but remarkably, having listened to it last night on headphones and in complete darkness, it actually doesn't outlive its welcome for a moment. I'd say it's a complete triumph. An impossible dream like marriage of motorik Kraftwerk, Station to Station, (a wonderful coda to the year that Bowie left), Scott Walker, Wagner himself and his band. As for what it's on about it seems to me to be a testament to the miracle of love. But that's personal readings for you. Regardless,some album! I do hope Wagner's wife likes it.

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