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Boomkat Product Review:
It’s hard to believe it’s really been three years since Dave Longstreth’s Dirty Projectors issued their defining statement ‘Bitte Orca’. With very little fanfare the sprawling collective reframed 2009’s casual interest in ‘weird’ music and allowed outsiders to get a look in, proving to take them to a new, still more hallowed level of industry staircase. Now inhabiting a similar room as legendary weirdos Bjork and David Byrne (both of whom Longstreth has collaborated with), we find the eccentric genius at his most penetrable, with an album of (in his own words) ‘songs’. The flurry of Timbaland-influenced beats that punctuated its predecessor are sadly close to gone, but ‘Swing Lo Magellan’ is still just as heavy and just as unpredictable as you’d hope. The eccentricities, vocal gymnastics and hyperactivity has just been shrunk down to fit into a more ‘regular’ song structure, something that the scene’s outsiders have tried to do for many years. It works for Longstreth too, and while his previous attempts at this have been a mixed success, there’s a sense that his songwriting has matured to a level that songs like ‘Impregnable Question’ and the gorgeous title track work in a way he’s never quite managed before. In an era where very few bands are writing and producing ‘real’ albums (you know like the ones the old folks are constantly banging on about) it’s nice to see an act with genuine scope, ambition and drive. ‘Swing Lo Magellan’ is the product of that, and deserves all the critical plaudits it will no doubt rake in.