12/15/2004

so here's a mini-review of a cd i got awhile ago:

Clinton - Disco & The Halfway To Discontent

Clinton is Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres from Cornershop (who had the hit song "Brimful of Asha" from "When I Was Born for the Seventh Time" a few years ago), and their album "Disco & The Halfway To Discontent" sounds just like what it is, a dance music side project, and like many side projects, it sounds kind of half-assed, or at least unfinished. Basically it's funkier, sparser, and more electronic and with fewer lyrics than your average Cornershop album. And like Cornershop's other alubms, it still includes influences from the 1960's and Indian music, as well as a lot of samples, and it has the vocal quirks Singh likes to use like monotone singing. The album is alright overall. It's kind of repetitive, especially the more boring tracks like "Electric Ice Cream (Miami Jammies)" despite the funny title, "Before the Fizz is Gone," "Sing Hosanna," which is apparently a cover of a hymn or that old "Red River Valley" song, and "Hip Hop Bricks," which reminds me of Daft Punk's song "Teachers," where lots of bands (or something) are listed off. And even the best tracks on the album, "Giddian di Rani," and the Avalanches-lite, sample-heavy "Welcome to Tokyo, Otis Clay," feel like they aren't finished. A lot of songs on this album are like the Crusades: they start out like they're going to kick some ass, then they fall apart, or at best, just wander around doing nothing interesting. The bonus tracks, "David D. Chambers," and the better-than-the-original "Fila Brazilia Disco Frisco" mix of "People Power in the Disco Hour" are good as well, but they tell me that Clinton's song titles are too long. And it's not a good sign when two of the best tracks on an album are the bonus tracks. If all of the tracks had as much going on as the "Fila Brazilia Disco Frisco" mix, the album would have been more interesting, although maybe Singh and Ayres were going for the sparse sound. This is apparently a political CD, but I didn't get that impression from the frequently random/uninteresting lyrics, which are sort of spoken in Singh's usual way. In short, it's good background music and there are some bright spots, but I'm glad I got it used.

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