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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
As seems to be the case with all projects with some involvement from Spencer Krug, this is another album which is consistently above average. Considering the huge output of material he writes or contributes to, this is no mean feat.
In my opinion, some of Krug's strongest material is with Sunset Rubdown, and maybe it is no coincidence that this is one of the group's in which he has the most control.
Krug once again focuses on treating instruments like building blocks, throwing various melodies on top of one another through various works of instrumentation, in fequently complex arrangements. His lyrical adeptness is also in full force throughout the album, and is a fine compliment to the music.
This album was one of my favourites of 2007, and it clearly establishes Krug as one of indie music's brightest talents.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The indie-rocker has sung,
Spencer Krug is insane. In the best possible way of course.
And Sunset Rubdown has expanded their sound in every direction, with the gloriously dense third album "Random Spirit Lover." While their music hasn't changed drastically in sound, it's grown deeper and denser and much, much weirder -- in fact, it may be too dense to hear in one sitting.
It opens with a sprightly tangle of growling squealing guitar, energetic piano, bells and blurry synth. "He was a man of many nations, had a hundred souls and a hundred to go/He was a man of many nations, two hearts, two hands, it's a slippery slope," Krug yowls over the bouncy, cluttered melody. "It was the tender mending of this slender gown/that brought me bending to the ground..."
You might want to just turn it off after that, and take a little while to digest it. Or you can move on to the tremulous, mournfully quirky "Magic vs. Midas," which serves as a little oasis after the craziness of the first song.
But things don't really get any simpler after that -- we have twinkly marches, ominous indie-rock with a chorale, stately crescendos of ringing guitars, rippling dark electronica, and cascading eruptions of crazy harps and keyboard. Occasionally, they mix in a gentle echoing experimental song, a fuzzfolk pop song, or a tinkl little ballad like "Stallion."
You can really tell in "Random Spirit Lover" that Sunset Rubdown is no longer merely a side band for people from Pony Up, Wolf Parade, et cetera. Their music has really blossomed into a dense, intense combination of experimental music (a la Animal Collective) and pop tunes. You can dance to it, but it might make you dizzy.
Each melody is made of a bunch of loosely intertwined instrumentals -- winding riffs that vary from ringing to fuzzy, solid drums and fast-moving piano setting the beat. And the whole thing is wound in a dizzying, colourful blanket of shimmering glockenspiel, harmonica, and swells of windy keyboard.
Krug is responsible for most of the vocals, and it takes a little while to get used to his yowling, dramatic voice. But he sings lyrics of staggering lyrical beauty ("You say it's the hair of ghosts/So I say it's the white hair of Poseidon/Ebbing in the tide in some dead sea"), and more than a little tenderness.
Even more striking, those lyrics are crammed with symbolism and dreamlike imagery -- leopards, virgins, snow and ice, the Shroud of Turin, and lots of diamonds and violins. There are plenty of repeating motifs in these songs, tangling them almost into a theme album.
Your ears may overflow while you're listening to "Random Spirit Lover," but the rich experimental pop and astounding lyrics make a wonderful way to be overwhelmed. Definitely a must-listen.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!,
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I sooo love this album, Sunset Rubdown is probably my favorite band ever <3
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The fairground of fun,
Despite all the pretension and there's a considerable amount, c'mon one song is called `Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days' - and the ridiculously over-the-top lyrics, but that's what we come to expect from Wolf Parade member, Spencer Krug - this is a merry-go-round of an album. In fact, I often think of fairgrounds when I listen to it. There's the hall of mirrors, obviously reflecting the impenetrable ranting on most of the tracks, but it leaves you feeling dizzy and heck, even a touch amused. But we can't stay in the hall of mirrors too long, the fun would soon turn to boredom, so we move on to the other attractions. There's the helter skelter, because of course this an old fashioned fairground, with none of this new fandangle nonsense going on, or at least this is what Sunset Rubdown would have you believe. Whatever it is, it's always fun, and fun is exactly what we want when we go to the fair, or when we put on a Sunset Rubdown album.
Highlights: The Mending of the Gown, Winged/Wicked Things, For the Pier (and Dead Shimmering)
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