Dirty Projectors: Rise Above

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Dirty Projectors: Rise Above

Projectors deliver twee-pop collagist covers of Black Flag, natch

Some albums test your tolerance for irony.

Imagine Elvis Costello crooning his jazziest song, periodically belching blasts of salty social spleen just out of key and then drastically changing tempos on a dime, and you’ve got the Dirty Projectors’ cover of “Police Story.” The third track “Depression” is the same trick, only Afropop. As the Projectors throw more of these cards on the table, it becomes clear that this is either one of 2007’s most refreshing or most grating albums, and there’s a hair’s breadth in between. Swerving but creative, Rise Above may wear on repeated listens but still it connects more than it should: “What I See” oozes Arthur Russell (a great thing), and even if the kinetic wrath of Black Flag gets checked at the door, there remains something deliciously subversive about coating Greg Ginn’s songs in all this weird-ass baroque gloss.