May 15, 2007

Minilogue - Elephant Parade

I’ve been told that Elephant Parade is a snorefest, and while I’m sure that’s the case for most people, I sleep on my belly. This means two things - one, I can’t snore as much as I’d like and two, recent studies have shown that my sleep-position (described as “freefall”) reveals that my personality can be bit “nervy.” So give me a little lee-way when I say that the title cut here doesn’t bore me as much as it might bore you – it’s all in the nerves. Sure, dude riffs a bass for ten minutes that goes nowhere and sounds like that fact doesn’t matter a damn to him. But the live-ness of the recording is there, like the song could just fall flat on its face with each iteration of the corkscrewing bassline. And the group walks the line just enough to give the song the urgency it needs. But I’ll admit that I’m giving Minilogue a free pass for throwing a little dirt into their finely tuned and fluffed out epic-minimal compositions.

It might be time for a little reinvention for Minilogue, whose largest claim to fame so far has been changing from prog-house posterboys into prog-house-gone-minimal posterboys. Not to mince broad sides with nit-picks, but both sides of this single find the duo stretching away from the group traditional strengths. “Elephant Parade” has flab of a couple extra minutes that misses the brevity the duo showed when taking Radiohead in bite-sized chunks (ala “Certain Things Around You Part 2″). And “Birdsong,” despite the juicy faint echoes of a monkey house, is never sculpted as sublimely as “Girl From Botany Bay.” Despite the flaws, what sticks out is Minilogue’s insistence to try new directions on a label (Wagon Repair) known for encouraging artists to branch out, and it’s worth each awkward first step.

Wagon Repair / WAG 022
[Listen]
[Nate DeYoung]


2 Comments »

  1. You got it totally right with calling the track ‘nervy’ - even precarious. The track does go somewhere - to me it’s like walking along a really narrow path with a drop on either side, with the freakout just after half-way being a small slip of the foot stretched out into the slow-motion we all experience when we think we’re doomed for the fall. Good thing they regain their step, I reckon.
    I’m surprised at the call for reinvention coupled with an acknowledgement of their consistently new directions. Either way, I think they’re producing some of the most varied sounds going - and their full-length is much anticipated.

    -- Joe
  2. In regards of my reinvention comment, it was less a call and more of an acknowledgment of what’s already happening. But trust me - you’re not alone in anticipation.

    -- Nate

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