The L.A. Weekley mentioned in passing that the great Van Dyke Parks had made a new album with someone I've never heard of. First thing I did whne i got home was check on Amazon for this album. When I saw the album, I was worried. It looked like it could be potential hipster garbage. So, I took the risk, coughed up thirteen bucks, and bought the CD.
I remember when I opened the brown Amazon box, I was very impressed by this little CD's colorful and cute packaging. As soon as I noticed the little rabits and birds in the pile of food, I couldn't help it, but smile in glee. I went straight toward my stereo, plopped in the CD, and hit play.
What I heard threw me off. It sounded like Van Dyke Parks, with all the odd key changes and lush orchestration for smaller broadway style groups. Then on the second track came the vocals. I usually avoid most contemporary music so I was caught off guard when this quiet, mousey, jazzy voice came through the speakrs, singing something closer to poetry than just lyrics on a page.
I listened to about half the album, and then had to go somewhere. Everyday since, I've avoided that and tried listening to it the whole way through everyday. Every song has a simple joy to it, something severally lacking in art today. This CD is most definatly up there with the best contemporary popular music albums I've heard in the last few years.