I started listening to this one over the summer, and then stopped.
And then started again, just to stop shortly thereafter. Now,
I'm listening again; my involvement with this album is rather
on again, off again.
About is Rutger Hoedemaekers with a host of guest
musicians and vocalists. The music is a bit wide ranging, with
indie, pop, rock, electronica and psychobilly mixed together in
multiple configurations. The end result is music that was performed,
has been looped, sampled and run over by the musical equivalent
of a Mack truck. When About sticks to the indie-pop-rock formula
is when it's at its most successful. The laptop experimentalism
is occasionally interesting, but without any progressive structure,
these sequences tend to fall flat. The tracks with Marg Van
Eenbergen as guest vocalist remind me of The Frenchmen,
and make for an enjoyable pairing, particularly when vocal duties
are shared with Rutger. At 32 minutes, Bongo is a fairly
short album, but I think it could be pared down a little into
a less wander-some version. "Boo (Hoo)" is a 2:47 track
of aimless percussion loops married to chunks of clunky melody.
It's interesting for about 20 seconds, but gets old quick. For
someone so capable of making distinctive pop-rock, I think his
experimentation is far more effective within the confines of a
more traditional song. Those songs provide the comfort of the
familiarity of structure, but also benefit from the eclectically-clunky,
laptop wizardry that grows tiresome in the non-progressive tracks.
The experimentalism is far more effective in smaller, more carefully
measured doses. Overall, I like this album even if it has this
odd habit of pushing me away even as it draws me in.
1. Think Niles Drink
2. Strike You as the Enemy
5. Give it a Rest
7. Furry Dice (dangling from the guitar)
8. She Knows Everything About All Who Ever Drank Coffee With
9. friends applaud, the comedy is over
10. You Got It and a Bit
11. Tell Me
12. Boo (Hoo)
13. Stack of Marshalls
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!