Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors

The job of a music critic is essentially to describe music. For the past few years, the job of Dirty Projectors mastermind Dave Longstreth has been to make the critic's job undoable. On Dirty Projectors' fifth album, Longstreth doesn't cede his affections for octave-jumping and abstraction so much as redirect them, allowing his female band members to do the bulk of the singing while he clips some of his stranger musical impulses into less meandering, more memorable phrases. There are real live melodies here, notably on the standouts "Stillness Is the Move" and "Two Doves," which are no less accomplished for being riveting pieces of pop, and the Led Zeppelin–ish "Cannibal Resource," which is no less a pop success for being completely incomprehensible.