on 3 December 2012
Right, quick one as I'm busy....
Previous reviews actually don't surprise me. I would expect that most people listening to this album for the first time would find large chunks of it difficult to comprehend. That's fair as Breakup Song is, upon first listen, a lot to take in.
Deerhoof have always had a love of the angular, the obtuse and embraced the beautiful turnaround of resolving the discordant into harmonious bliss - and it's all here again with this record, only it takes more than one listen for for the whole lot to sink in.
On first listen, I knew there were good parts but I also knew there were sections that I couldn't work out what was going on. I'm a musician myself and I needed to have another run through to see if I could make sense of all - and I'm glad I did!
All of the little melodies, blips, beats, bass lines, guitar parts and synths, that I had heard on first listen, somehow now fit together superbly and I could recall and anticipate them as the tracks progressed. I've not got time to go into the details of every track but you have to try and understand rhythm and actively listen to this album (at least initially) to get the most out of it.
Don't be put off by previous reviews if you liked Deerhoof beforehand - this album is a real grower.
on 2 February 2013
Ok, so Milk Man's avant garde gives it the nod, but Breakup Songs still sounds like a radical band playing. And this radical band sound like they are playing at the peak of their powers. Satomi's voice, routinely rubbished by Deerhoof followers, now in no uncertain way adds to their sound. This is a Deerhoof pop album, but that doesn't mean selling out. The wonderful Pere Ubu albums Tenement Year and Cloudland weren't selling out though they were wonderful pop too, and this album finds Deerhoof holding true. Best tracks? It's hard to pick em.
on 6 January 2013
As a long time deerhoof listener I have to say that they have surprised me again! I have been listening to deerhoof since I grabbed a copy of their early album The man the king the girl and I have owned every album since!
Every album has an interesting take, A different way in approaching the sound and this remains case in breakup song. The whole album has a more electronic feel, sounds samples rather than straight up recorded parts. It also has a lovely taste of their recording techniques, Hearing whats sounds like an album recorded in many locations but with a minimal set up. I imagine that this was recorded in each of their flats/appartments with no more than 3 mics used at once!
As you can tell I'm a recording engineer and I'm focusing on the production aspects But let me assure you, the performance is superb!
If you like their rock/thrashy guitar sound then miss this one. But if you like being surprised by music and love a change in tone and sound then check this out as you wont be dissapointed.
I'm sitting in wait for them to return to the sound of The return of the wood M'lady 7" I picked up recently as it blew me away!
on 13 September 2012
It genuinely saddens me to write this review. I love Deerhoof.I would give any of their other albums 6 stars were it possible.They have been the best, the most surprising, the most downright likeable band of the last decade.
Breakup Songs, however, manages to be dull, tedious and ordinary: the opposite of Deerhoof in fact. Greg Saunier becomes an ordinary drummer; Satomi an ordinary singer. The two guitarists become almost anonymous. The album, though brief, manages to drag well before the final track. Each invidual song, though short, outstays its welcome.
Whatever pleasures there are in breakup songs are bittersweet reminders of moments you have already heard executed many times better on previous albums.Now they sound forced and tired where they were once exhilarating and intelligent.It is almost impossible to comment on invividual tracks as they tend to merge into an undifferentiated sprawl - not helped by a vague and clumsy production.
Maybe the aim was to do what deerhoof do best - to confound expectations.In that sense Breakup Songs succeeds, inasmuchas I would never , ever, have expected Deerhoof to become boring or, even worse, ordinary.
I would advise anyone who knows deerhoof at all to sample a track from this album before thinking of buying (any track will do - if you've heard one you've more or less heard them all.)And I would plead with anyone coming to Deerhoof for the first time to buy any album other than this.
I can only hope that the title does not imply that this is their last effort.To leave on such a note would be almost cruelly sad.
on 7 September 2012
I am very fond of Deerhoof. A thoroughly likeable group of people, great live act, individual and creative. I had preordered 'Breakup Song' as soon as it was announced, and had been looking forward to its arrival, studiously avoiding any streaming web previews. Big mistake, as it turned out. It arrived today, and went straight on my CD player.
I listened through it, and when it finished and I'd woken up I realised I would have no reason to ever listen to this music again. It's Deerhoof for sure, but the muddy production and just plain uninspired songs and performances make this a poor album indeed. They have always flirted with a playful banality but on 'Breakup Songs' there doesn't seem to be any of the intelligence or wit coming across. It's a grey and ultimately depressing experience to hear attempts at their usually engaging quirkiness fall so very flat. Deerhoof are great musicians, but that's all buried in half-baked electronics and messy arrangements. For some, this may be just what they are looking to hear in a Deerhoof album, but it doesn't connect with me at all - I just get no life or joy from it, just an impression of an uncomfortable forced smile.
I can't talk about individual songs, because I'd have to listen to it again and the CD has gone straight in the bin - I wouldn't even wish to take money off anyone else by selling it on.
A real disappointment for me, at any rate. I'd certainly recommend any potential purchasers, even established Deerhoof followers such as myself, to hear some of the songs first before parting with the old hard-earned.