Nutshell Album Review: Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors fans were embracing after the two year wait ended for the Angel Deradoorian-less follow up to Bitte Orca and the seven song collaboration with Bjork, the Mount Wittenberg Orca EP. Reviews are calling Swing Lo Magellan new, different, innovative, heartfelt, and so on. After combing through the best 12 songs that came out of David Longstreth’s year of writing around 70 new songs (40 of which became recorded demos), I can do you a favor by encouraging you at the beginning of the review to listen to this album now.

Swing Lo Magellan starts with “Offsprings Are Blank”, which is such an all-over-the-place song that it’s hard to explain. Essentially, it goes from nearly a cappella to the grittiest early 90’s-style hard rock you could imagine. “About to Die” features stuttery drum beats, the cutest lyrics I’ve heard in a long time (“What would I do without you?”), and an impeccable bass groove that is eventually backed up by a string section. “Gun Has No Trigger” features one of the greatest vocal performances heard in recent history (especially by Longstreth). The title track “Swing Lo Magellan” has a 60’s folk-rock feel, with snare filled drum pattern and an upbeat riff played on acoustic guitar. “Just From Chevron” is an equally relaxing and generally fun song, featuring rhythmic clapping and lead vocals from most members of the band. It is an overall pretty song, and puts the album at a very positive place.

The tone set by Dirty Projectors is continued in “Dance For You”, which features a mid-song build up capped off by a relaxed and bluesy guitar solo that flows back into a final chorus. “Maybe That Was It” is a slower and more hard to follow song of the album, and after that is another song that sounds like it was plucked right out of a 60’s album. “Impregnable Question” is a very beautiful song and is one of the best tracks of the entire record.

“See What She Seeing” features a vocal performance that makes me instantly thing of Bob Dylan, and it also brings back the string section to give it a full and intimate sound. “The Socialites” checks you back in from whatever day dreams this album has induced with another phenomenal vocal performance by Amber Coffman and more in-depth drum beats. “Unto Caesar” is the track to check out on this album. The vocals, bass line, drums, and the general energy of this band are just too big to miss out on. The closer “Irresponsible Tune” (one of the best song titles ever) is a slow and heart felt song that is perfect to convey a message that says “Thank you very much, we’ll be back soon enough”.

Swing Lo Magellan is just a straight forward and good album. This is one of the shortest reviews written for Nutshell Music Group, but it was just too easy to explain it in a positive light. The now 10 year old Dirty Projectors have a reason to be proud of what coming out of their recording studio. 91/100, and available now.

Swing Lo Magellan Tracklisting:

  1. Offspring Are Blank
  2. About To Die
  3. Gun Has No Trigger
  4. Swing Lo Magellan
  5. Just From Chevron
  6. Dance For You
  7. Maybe That Was It
  8. Impregnable Question
  9. See What She Seeing
  10. The Socialites
  11. Unto Caesar
  12. Irresponsible Tune
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Posted on July 23, 2012, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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