Monday, February 14, 2005

DB Reviews: Tribeca - Incident at the Metropolis

I have friends who grew up listening to Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac and The Carpenters and Carly Simon and Neil Diamond. I’m not one of those guys.

I grew up on The Doors and Zeppelin and Cream and later graduated to The Clash and Mighty Mighty Boss Tones and Nirvana and Fastbacks and Garage Rock ‘till your ears bleed, with a little REM and Beta Band and Radiohead thrown in when I want to kick it back a notch.

I ranked The Hives’ Tyrannosaurus Hives as the Dumpster Bust’s 2004 Album of the Year. Just to give you an idea where I’m at musically.

I'm starting to receive free shit to review as a blogger and writer, which is super cool. We come thence to Tribeca, which is described thusly:

Dip your toes in Steely Dan-ish ecstacy whilst imagining Joe Jackson recording his version of Aja...

I don’t really know that means, and to be honest, listening to Incident at the Metropolis didn’t help very much. To my battle scarred ears, it ranges between polished yet hookless groove lounge and out-and-out cheese.

So I’m kind of caught in a situation that something I can't subscribe to – something that’s “not my scene” as we used to say back in the day – might very well be someone else’s scene.

Tough one for me to review, in other words.

There’s a great deal of laid back groove to wade through here, and sometimes it’s so laid back that it’s hard to find, as on “Huepnica,” the opening track. “North American Laundromat” picks up the pace and the beat a little bit and adds in some much needed vocals, which elevates it clearly as the best song on the album. There’s potential here for laid back 70s inflected American groove here, but for me – a guy who lives for hooks and beat – it just never pays off. “North American Laundromat” goes to show how talented a band like Jamiroquai really is: they pull off 70s disco and flair and beat and panache without sounding like retreads or satirists.

“Valuable Feelings” makes me want to run for the razors and warm bathtub, and “Monument” sounds like a repeat of same (it took me a little while to figure out that they were, in fact, different songs). “Two Days After” is a quiet rumination that sort of pitter pats along and “People Need to Know” and “Start from Nothing” are goes at 70s country rock.

“Popular Summer,” the final track, is the only song that seems to achieve an original 70s vibe, but one that most people would skip right past on their radio dial.

I qualify all of my comments with the fact that this album was likely never meant for the likes of me, which does nothing to change the fact that me no likey.


The Sore Loser said...

It looks like you've graduated to the next level of blogging geekiness. Soon you'll be flying out to corporate junkets in Hawaii. And that's when the big bucks start rolling in.

Eric Berlin said...

I'm cool with next level, junkets, Hawaii, and big bucks.

If being geeky is wrong... I don't want to be right.

That said, I've pretty much bashed the hell out of the last two unsolicited items I've reviewed, so the gravy train may soon end in vain (that's a really obscure and not that great Clash allusion, by the way).