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Wagner's distinctive voice is a constant (as are his lyrics, which range joyously from the sentimental to the sarcastic) but the background sounds are a constantly shifting tapestry, all rich strings and insouciant strums one minute, brooding melodies and sinister moods the next. If there's any band out there that seem to live for their work it's Lambchop. And while they don't necessarily get better with every album, they do retain a certain freshness and sense of innovation, traits that many of their peers could do with adopting. --Paul Sullivan
Of the two, I'd say "Aw C'mon" is the stronger album- gorgeous tunes all over the shop, my personal favourites being "Something's Going On", "I Haven't Heard A Word I've Said", "Nothing But A Blur From A Bullet Train" and the amazing "Steve McQueen". Melancholy masterpieces, each and every one.
Other highlights include the faltering lounge jazz of "Women Help To Create The Kind Of Men They Despise" and the damn funky "I Hate Candy".
"No You C'mon" is a lighter affair than the fairly bleak "Aw C'mon"- the tunes are looser on the whole, the lyrics slightly more humorous and heck- even a bit of heavily distorted guitar creeps into a song or two ("Nothing Adventurous Please" being the main example of this- it rocks hard! Track 10, "The Gusher" even cobs the riff from the Black Sabbath standard "Paranoid"!).
At the mellower end of the spectrum we get gems like "There's Still Time" and "The Problem".
It seems a lot of fuss has been made over the inclusion of instrumental material on the albums, which I can't really understand. Admittedly, some of these tunes veer a little too closely to 'elevator music' or whatever you want to call it, but on closer inspection the likes of "The Lone Official" and "Sunrise" reveal themselves as great pieces of music.
The key to enjoying these albums is to not be overwhelmed by the huge amount of material on offer- like I said, it takes a bit of time to fully appreciate everything here! Get used to one disc at a time, whatever it takes but please don't write them off as disappointing so soon- they're a pair of gems!
Don't be put off. As ever, a little effort with Lambchop will reap rich rewards. Just listen to Neihaus's sweet sweet pedal steel on Sunrise, if you think instrumentals don't work! As ever, Kurt Wagner is miles ahead of everyone, including us poor listeners, who need to Listen (!) to catch up.
There are too many tracks to really go into, I can assure you it's a grower and best appreciated at night- pretty much every Lambchop record has been a grower for me, songs like Grumpus and Caterpillar suddenly just capturing me a few listens in. Aw C'Mon is the darker album of the two- plenty of highlights as far as I'm concerned: Steve McQueen, Women Help to Create the Kind of Men They Despise (title!), Something's Going On...No C'Mon sees them employ serious guitar-assault (Nothing Adventerous Please) & offer up strange catchy-pop in the form of Shang a Dang Dang (the hit that Up With People should have been?). Plenty of great tracks, highlights so far include Listen, Slow Ambition, Sunrise & About My Lighter...Read more ›