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I’m listening to the Dirty Projectors’ new album, Rise Above. I say matter-of-factly that this album is the best thing they’ve ever put out. It’s not an any-mood record, nor is it remotely flawless – it’s too dubiously “conceptual” for that – but suddenly the Dirty Projectors seem to have a considered sound rather than a wank-off mess, and that’s kind of cool.

As you may’ve heard, the album was constructed from singer/composer/whatever Dave Longstreth’s memories of the Black Flag album Damaged. Advice: try not to listen to it that way, you’ll be better off. The source material was direct, energetic, and exciting, but Longstreth’s recasting is more of a dizzy kitchen-sink attempt at pastoral, almost diametrically opposing the original in terms of urgency and even meaning.  It’s very, very good.  Take this as a personal recommendation, folks.


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