Reviews in 200 Words

Lambchop, “Mr. M”

In Album on March 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

Let’s get this out there, first and foremost:  Lambchop is weird. There’s a whole spectrum of unsettling elements at play:  the band name, the impenetrable lyrics, the off-kilter intonation. We get only tidbits of meaning in these lyrics, fed like spoonfuls flown airplane-style into our open mouths. It’s hard to stop consuming it, though. This time around Lambchop’s man at arms, Kurt Wagner, plays Lawrence Welk bandleader, calling for “crazy flutes” and striking up gentle strings. While he may never elucidate on his uncertain lyrics, lines crawl in and nestle up in warm places in the music. “Speak now love to me of your return,” he sings on “Kind Of.” “It’s not how much you make, but what you earn.” Wagner’s honest and forthright, singing like a grandfather reminiscing on better days – like he’s telling his rapt grandchildren stories they will only fully understand after he’s gone. “Catching fish with just our hands – and they taste of some cool pastoral splendor,” he sings on “Nice without Mercy.” It’s all so confident that you can excuse the obscurity. Even when Wagner tells us “the good life is wasted on me,” we know it’s a lie, even if we’re not sure why.

~ Jay Cullis

Click here to subscribe the official Beat Jab Podcast via iTunes.

Click here for a Spotify playlist of Lambchop’s Mr. M

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