Kelley Polar
Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens

Reviewed by: Mike Powell
Reviewed on: 2005-11-14

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Posted 11/14/2005 - 07:50:19 AM by hometapes:
 cover ripoff alert:
Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:42:26 AM by pabanks46:
 Don't forget that this art is used constantly. Its the insert of Pearl Jam's Binaural which is having its cover stolen by Matthew Shipp's latest. I'm sorry, but just having read the worst covers story at P4k, this art smacks of super-laziness. The sort that is counterintuitive in that you have to try really hard to come off this freaking lazy.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:46:31 AM by pabanks46:
Posted 11/14/2005 - 01:46:53 PM by robbyshankar1:
 isn't it actually to kelley polar's credit that he (or his designer) wasn't aware of the pearl jam use? :P seriously, it is probably very difficult to know who has used an image b4 if you aren't aware of the context it was used in. how would they even research it? You can't google "weird space monster image" and get pearl jam or shalabi effect and say ok, we cant use it now.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 01:56:07 PM by mikepowell:
 Also, in spite of the image being somewhat common, it *is* both nice to look at and appropriate to the album; more importantly *this is a very good record, people.*
Posted 11/14/2005 - 02:28:02 PM by iloveokra1:
 OR...maybe Matthew Shipp, Shalabi, and Kelley Polar are HUGE PJ fans and are doing it as a tribute. But, really, can anyone find the original source of this picture? I agree that the few tracks I've heard off this album are quite intriguing.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 02:41:27 PM by PatrickMcNally:
 It's a NASA Hubble Space Telescope pic - " M16: Stars from Eagle's EGGs." See: for further info.
Posted 11/14/2005 - 11:18:26 PM by KlausFraktal:
 The cover's about as fresh and original as the album. Bring in the year-end hanger-ons!
Posted 11/15/2005 - 10:40:35 AM by pabanks46:
 Laziness in an already semi-faceless genre is a dangerous thing. Judging music by its cover is at best unadvisable, but I mean, Hubble shots? Sure this album wasn't composed by a computer, the same one that churns out faceless Happy Hadcore comps. and Ministry of Sound pap?
Posted 11/15/2005 - 02:23:43 PM by j_cunningham:
 You guys, this album is so gorgeous, though.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 12:32:01 AM by IanMathers:
 Aww, j, don't make him actually listen to it before he talks shit about the album. That's cheating.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 08:40:29 AM by pabanks46:
 Ian, on my next CD I'm gonna use the artwork from Bitches Brew because, damn, that shit be tight, and you know, who cares that its been done before? Hell, I might even get a few Miles Davis fans to check me out! Wouldn't that be hella fucking wicked?! I bet fusion fans would love to hear my PSX Music Generator beats filtered through my Boss 8-track with my playing guitar on several tracks, 1 by using an e-bow. Go me.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 09:15:59 AM by mikepowell:
 Err, except that the artwork from Bitches Brew was made by Mati Klarwein and the art for Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens was, again, a photo of newborn stars forming in the Eagle Nebula taken with the Hubble Space Telescope by J. Hester and P. Scowen. As the credit partially belongs to NASA, the image is in the public domain and free for use as long as it does not convey the endorsement of NASA. Basically, what you are saying is "nothing." Forget about the cover art and go listen to the album, people.
Posted 11/16/2005 - 11:47:37 AM by pabanks46:

Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens is the sound of disco falling asleep in an open copy of Confessions of an English Opium Eater, bloodied hearts splashing in the milky way, and the comforts of the resolutely melancholy, a dream all to itself."

I guess I'll steal it to give it a listen, but if the above describes it, its probably full of barely scrambled "I'm well read!" code and self-importance. Usually those types are of the cookie-cutter variety, unoriginal in every sense of the word. They might even just slap on public stock photos other ppl have used as album art themselves. Oh, we covered that already.
Posted 11/17/2005 - 07:31:14 AM by TheBrad:
 I'm feeling pabanks46 on this one, and not just because we both apparently own Binaural. Ugly or seemingly-derivative cover art makes me sad, and keeps my hand from the play button. Then again, that's why I have Michael. I like Cripple Crow and don't care for Rejoicing, and the latter has the good cover.
Posted 11/17/2005 - 10:02:43 AM by pabanks46:
 Well, both Shalabi and PJ, although both are covered in dust, so maybe I could forgive Polar if it was a great album. It's not. In the interview, he admits he can't sing. Uh, ya think? Dude makes Matthew Dear sound like freaking Pavarotti. There are not "harmonics" in this album, either, so I'm assuming maybe the attempts at harmony/harmonizing w/ himself was what was being referred to. If that's the case, it's a laughable thing to comment on, considering he's breath-harmonizing with barely audible of breath-harmonizing him. And those points are rare. What is constant is tired rhythm, out of the box present horn stabs, cheese bass, and skeletal arrangements. By the way, what is a GOOD "disco-pop" record is this is the "best" of that genre so far this year? Yeeesh, I mean, perhaps I was going in thinking it would blow, but Polar did little to sway that. Like I said, cookie cutter, talentless, faceless.
Posted 11/18/2005 - 02:57:40 AM by robbyshankar1:
 maybe polar was indicating inthe inteview that couldn't sing in the traditional sense? it is possible to convey feeling and not sing in the pavarotti sense of "singing".... the barometer of whether one can or can't sing is variable and depends on perspective, cultural context, personal tasteof the audience, etc.its obvious you loathed the album from the start, which is fine, but not everyone is going to have your take on it (for example, me). i think its amazing and own far too many records, thousands of them, many disco, many pop,and filled with singers horrific and sublime, depending on your perspective.....
Posted 11/23/2005 - 04:58:02 AM by hibeside:
 and you know what else is cool? bringing your 'taste' first into the discussion. You knew you weren't gonna like a disco-pop (he says condescendingly) record if your life depended on it, based on your incredulity-flux "GOOD" and "semi-faceless genre" (ha! what a weak little genre he says...). So leave your reeking carnivorous breath bent on consuming the art of a people not of your own out of a message board that could otherwise serve a purpose. Oh. tear. Im actively asking you not to participate in conversation (much like asking the skinheads to go outside). Am I matching elitism with elitism? Is that allowed dialecticians?
Posted 11/24/2005 - 10:31:01 AM by pabanks46:
 Well, I didn't put you or anyone in the same paragraph as skinheads, so I guess that makes me more tolerant than you. You asking me to leave = asking skinheads to leave? You're a dick too.