Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca

Music Reviews Dirty Projectors
Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca

Left field art-rockers share the recording process for their most straightforward and stylized release

Having assembled a backing band dexterous enough to maneuver his fractured vocal labyrinths and polymath grooves for touring 2007’s Rise Above-an art-pop opus where he attempted to recreate Black Flag’s Damaged from memory-Dave Longstreth has made his first “band” album with Bitte Orca. Utilizing his bandmates as instruments, he dispatches guitarist Amber Coffman on a Mariah Carey-styled slow jam entitled “Stillness is the Move” and bassist Angel Deradoorian for the fragile balladry of “Two Doves,” their voices allowing Longstreth to experiment with a different type of pop arrangement. The Led Zep-ish swagger of “Cannibal Resource” and the dizzying harmonies and stuttering backbeats of “Temecula Sunrise” are more typical of his contrapuntal sense of composition, though he seems to be gaining confidence in his ability to cut directly to the listener instead of obscuring his melodies with constant thematic and structural shifts. The result is the most thoroughly engaging entry in the Dirty Projectors catalog and one of the most singularly engrossing albums likely to be released this year, a triumph in sustained creative restlessness.

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