Considering the lack of music reviews on HUH. for the last couple of months we might as well call this "This Year's Music Reviews". Yes, we missed out on giving our opinion on new classics like "Channel Orange" and "Born To Die" but no worries, we've regained our judgmental spirit and will pass our judgments on releases from Ormonde, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Straight From The Harp and Animal Collective this week. All the below reviews are by Coby Hounjet.
Ormonde - Machine
Quirky girl with bangs and an innocent sweet voice? Check. A cover of a controversial Serge Gainsbourg song? Check. A guy who sounds like he lives on a diet of whiskey and Gauloises? Check. An album cover with an almost transparent graphic shape, a kitschy background and a naked girl on a horse? Check. Ormonde check so many hipster boxes, it's worrying. They even have the story of meeting in a with I expect to be a vegan cupcake bar and instantly deciding of making a record together without even knowing each other's last name, covered.
This of course doesn't mean their music sucks. It doesn't. It's soothing, it's easy to listen to and none of your friends will hate it when you put it on during a diner party. You might even use it to impress a girl with your sensitive side. "Machine" is so sweet that it's very hard to hate it. Calling it highly unoriginal, however, is very easy.
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes
Ariel Pink is often seen as the Frank Zappa of the last decade. A comparison that he lives up to with "Mature Themes". At first glance his lyrics and compositions don't seem to make any sense at all. My mum would even call it pot and kettle music. But then again, my mom has had a lifelong penchant for German schlagers.
"Mature Themes" is a great album with a strangely coherent collection of songs. The songs are indefinite and somehow mysterious: it is the soundtrack to a film yet to be made. Where "Only In My Dreams" evokes images of a boy and a girl in a flowy dress gamboling through a field, sitting in a tree and K-I-S-S-I-N-G, "Schnitzel Boogie" - I think my mom would like this title - is the musical version of a foodfest gone mental and "Baby" provides the background music to a not to be missed erotic scene with a hologram of Barry White floating over the young couple's love nest. (If you want to invest in this promising production or if you have a hologram machine I can borrow, just contact me at email@example.com).
Straight From The Harp - I'm On Fire Just For You
Rain Rain Records
When some friend of Lady Lützen wanted to introduce her to some stylish blonde guy at a party, she said she would only hook up with a harp player. This turned out to be the flimsiest excuse ever since Mr. Varsted turned out to be a professional harp player. Long story short, the couple is now married with children, have their own band and just released their second full-length album from which we already posted the single "Mon Homme".
"I'm On Fire Just For You" is a mixture of electro blues, rock 'n roll and beats that remind us of the good ol' Neue Deutsche Welle days. The unique mix of genres and use of drum machines and, of course, the harp creates an album that is neither retro nor overly modern. Slow and sultry songs like "Dancing Slow" and "Mon Homme" demonstrate that it is still possible to get into some dancing all night long without dry humping your colleague or some random pieces of furniture. If you want to organize a stylish cocktail party or put someone on fire just for you (and maybe also a bit for Straight From The Harp), this is your record to go.
Animal Collective - Centipede Hz
I have to admit that I've never really had a 'thing' for Animal Collective. I remember my boyfriend once put "Brother Sport" on a mix tape he made me but further than that, I can't recall listening to their songs or albums. I sometimes gave it a try but always ended up getting pretty agitated. Since their 9th full album Centipede Hz is getting a lot of coverage on numerous of blogs, I decided to give it another try.
It still annoys the shit out of me. Don't get me wrong, I like weird compositions, echoes and exotic sound effects. Maybe it is all a bit to surrealistic for me. After all, I also can't look at a Dalí painting for 5 minutes without getting a serious case of rashes. Since I believe and somehow understand there are a lot of people out there who do love and highly appreciate Animal Collective's music, I decided to give this zero stars as a sign of my complete inability to review this record. Consider it some kind of colour by numbers.