Monday, May 28, 2012

Missed one

It happens about once a year or so- I miss mentioning a really good release from a really great set of Artists. Last time it was Wire's Red Barked Tree-  Which, honestly, has not worn a path to my heart over time. It's still Wire, and so very clever, with some fascinating twists and turns, but not quite what I need.
So, here we are with the Office of Future Plans.  It came out in November, I think. I got it back in December, I know that. I didn't mention it for a couple of reasons, I think: of course, if you ask me, I'll say that it slipped my mind, but there's something more.
J Robbins , musically, can do very little wrong. He's got a fantastic crooner's voice- seriously, put the guy up against Harry Connick or Michael Buble, and I think he wins. Also, he writes such deliciously sour pop songs.
But, he can do stuff that doesn't quite connect with me. Usually, it's 3 songs or less per LP. This one, it's about half the LP. I like the idea on paper- Cello-based post hardcore: but a bunch of them, the energy is just sapped right out, and it's like listening to Yes, or ELP to me- I respect the Art, but I don't enjoy it.
Still, the "hits" are freaking awesome- I don't think you can do a bad arrangement of "Loyal Opposition", and the one here is a rival to Report Suspicious Activity, album opener "Salamander" makes like Jawbox and crunches nicely," The Beautiful Barricades " roars and grooves like mid 1990's Killing Joke, mixed with Siouxsie's Creatures project,
"Fema Coffins" is pop punk and proudly so, slowly deconstructing into a Buzzcocks ballad. Likewise, "Dumb it Down" is a grunge stomp taken apart and put back together as a power ballad.
But Five tracks out of Twelve?  That's why I'm not mentioning it until now. Granted, it's still better than nearly everything being released, but, if I'm honest, it just doesn't excite me enough.

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