Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca

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Dirty Projectors 

Written By:

Brad Kelly

08th June 2009
At 17:30 GMT

1 comment(s)

In the run up to its issuance, every Dirty Projectors press release for a six mile radius was calling 'Bitte Orca' their pop album and while press releases are usually as truthful as the tobacco industry, none of them were wrong this time.

It's left-wing pop with a deeper, more experimental soul, yet that doesn't mean it's necessarily executed very well because it isn't. The record seems like a series of enjoyably-weird slash annoyingly-weird songs thrown blindly at a studio and then shipped to the stores.

When it does work, it manages to hit rather incredible heights and has the ability to hover there for a while too; it's just a shame we have to dip so low directly afterwards. First and foremost, their individuality is virtually unmatched; Jeff Buckley style vocals with sugar-drenched female vocals is something wholly unnerving to listen to but it is a combination more than capable of delivering. 

Still Is In The Move is forgettable in its lollipop melody but the hypnotic vocal delivery begrudgingly capture the attention and keeps you returning, somehow, someway. Useful Chamber sounds too much like a lost Passion Pit track and though it's more cohesive than PP's sickly sweet bombast, it's no way near as fun. It increases and decreases unevenly in joviality for its run, ending up confused in structure instead of wild and creative. Each song swings back and forth in this manner time and time again and it almost becomes too exhausting to absorb at points.

There is most definitely something intriguing about Bitte Orca but its allure is unrelentingly tainted when it's coated with all of the over-the-top melodrama that seems wilfully obscure at times. Where did the restrained Projectors we once knew and loved decide to disappear too? They're in here somewhere, they're just buried underneath the almost pretentious new personality that they've somewhat questionably decided to present in their music.

Remade Horizon is like an attempt at mixing Vampire Weekend with Animal Collective and coming out with something of an ugly Vampire-Animal bastard child. It's a muddled attempt that does nothing to try and keep it's feet safely grounded, opting instead to float far and away from any concentrative form or structure and losing appeal as it gains altitude. 

If you have enjoyed all of the Projectors work previous to this release then we feel you may, like us, come away feeling a little disappointed with Bitte Orca, wondering why they decide to go down this route instead of another. There was potential to amazing and dazzle with a new breed of of experimental-art-rock from the Brooklyn collective but instead, we're presented with a gooey, at times majestic but otherwise slightly hollow version of their former selves.

Both saccharine and disorientated, Bitte Orca is like an impressive painting from a ten year old; it's quite good to look at, but it's brush strokes are still noticeably amateur.

Rating:  6 / 10

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