Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • All Hour Cymbals [We Are Free, 2007] **
  • Fragrant World [Secretly Canadian, 2012] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

All Hour Cymbals [We Are Free, 2007]
Tribal neo-psychedelia as spirit food for the grim times ahead ("2080," "Wait for the Wintertime"). **

Fragrant World [Secretly Canadian, 2012]
Most of the time you can half make out the lyrics and then occasionally parse them too--whaddaya know, "Reagan's Skeleton" is about the election, sort of, and neither "Longevity" nor "Henrietta" would mind if it died before it got old or reached 100, whichever came second. But I only made sense of this album when I decided to enjoy its sonic trickerations the way I do African music in which the verbal sentiments might compromise my pleasure if I knew what they were. It's not a groove record, that's for sure, but it has some bump and even funk to it, a dark density years away from the evolved Depeche Mode of the proudly proggy Odd Blood. And almost every track offers up at least a snatch of melody you're always glad to hear again. B+