Boomkat Product Review:
Dirty Projectors have brimmed with a staunch, exciting individuality over the past couple of years. 2005's the Getty Address, a conceptual work based loosely around a post 9/11 America and the Eagles' drummer Don Henley, was a dense, near-inpenetrable feast of cut-up orchestra and choirs, all weaved together by the rare voice of it's ringleader, Dave Longstreth. In 2006 Longstreth dropped the New Attitude EP, a for the collective's new direction. With 'Rise Above' the Brookyn-based troubabour has delivered a statement which cements himself as one of the the most important, indendiary recording artists working in America today. This incredible album is inspired, the distillation of the elements which make the group so important, namely a fluid attitude towards song form, the continued setting of the voice at the forefront, and a pointed, direct delivery makes for quite startling listening. Mixing elements of American folk, jazz and Malian guitar music, Rise above certainly sounds unlike anything else released this year, 'No More' being perhaps the crowning moment of a consistantly-engaging forty-five minutes. This gorgeous composition, oscillating between picked Malian-tinged electric guitar and a blanket of harmonising voices, between reversed guitar and playful bass guitar, still miraculously functions as a pop song, its ebb and flow staying with you for days on end. Longstreth's vocal delivery is fearless throughout, part Anthony in its delivery, part Buckley in its impressive command of the light/shade dynamic. Take 'Police Story' as evidence, a track in which Longstreth glides from melodic near-whisper to throat-tearing scream in the space of a single line. These kind of exhilarating moments manifest themselves throughout Rise Above, from the first introduction fo the female choir in 'What I See' right through to the swell of harmonising voices which introduce the album's title track. Unlike anyhting else out there right now, and a statement of individuality and artistic prowess, Rise above is one of the years' most rewarding discoveries.