Sunday, February 24, 2019

Album Review: The Claypool/Lennon Delirium - South of Reality

The second album by The Claypool Lennon Delirium is delirious indeed, a bombardment of acid psychedelia and angular pop with progressive leanings.

But despite the collision of influences and references (Beach Boys, Beatles, Syl Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Caravan, Todd Rundgren's A Wizard A True Star, Gong, The Who Sell Out…) it is not a mess. In fact it’s informed by a very clear conceptual vision.

There is a lot of information coming at you from every angle of the aural spectrum but it’s all catchy melodic or rhythmic hooks. The songs are bursting with melodic and sonic ideas, lots of instruments, voices (and sometimes even whole orchestrations) pop in and out of the landscape but all have purpose: underneath the weirdness and orchestrations are excellent songs. Every movement, every instrumental part in fact is a song in itself.

When the project was announced several years ago it seemed like the teaming-up of the Primus mainman and the offspring of one of the greatest rock icons and his controversial avant-garde wife was a little too much whimsy. And if the first record dispelled that notion, this one goes further and makes this reviewer wish this became a full-time project for the protagonists.

Instead of comforting each other’s most experimental tendencies, the association seems to have channeled their flurry of ideas and brought them together in the most complementary way.

Sean Lennon has inherited his mother’s weirdness but also thankfully his father’s knack for melody. As for Les Claypool, his playing, singing and writing is much more melodic and textural, and less riff-oriented than in his other outlets.

On top of the wonderfully crafted songs and the humor, the greatest asset of the record is its sound: there are lots of processed instruments and trippy sounds but it has a warm, analog song comparable to the great records of the sixties it obviously references. It also makes the best use of stereo that I’ve heard in recent years.

Choosing a highlight would be hard: the record is a cohesive statement that has to be listened to as a whole. You sure won’t find a single in there, actually you might find several within a a single song. It’s a wonderful album which harkens back to a time when pop music was more adventurous, more fun, more everything.
Les Claypool with Primus at the Zénith in Paris, 2012

Join Apple Music HERE to listen to the entire album

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on this post: