Lambchop: FLOTUS (Merge) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 27th, 2021  

Lambchop

FLOTUS

Merge

Dec 07, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Kurt Wagner's ever-reliable Nashville outfit Lambchop hasn't been heard from since 2012's Mr. M, but last year Wagner and a couple buddies got together to release an excellent, subdued electronic album under the name HeCTA. That experience got Wagner working outside of his comfort zone, and in an attempt to experiment further with his writing and production techniques, he and his band have taken a brand new approach for this new album (whose title stands for For Love Often Turns Us Still, notwithstanding the invocation of the U.S. First Lady). FLOTUS is a lengthy, meditative piece of electronic music that sounds no less organic and real than the rest of the band's lounge-y alt-country discography.

The first things to notice about FLOTUS are the 11-minute opener "In Care of 8675309" and the 18-minute closer "The Hustle." The former is poetic and wordy, with repetitive verses that slowly unfold over time. It's emotional in tone, and every stanza contains beautiful turns of phrase; Wagner is as good a writer as he's ever been. While it seems to evoke death and a sort of calm acceptance of it, its companion, "The Hustle," is instead a love story: an account of a wedding.

These tracks alone could make a stellar EP, but luckily Lambchop decided to fill the space between them with several other gems. It's all really cohesive, and while no tracks jump out as jarringly different, each one is filled with deliberateness and prettiness. Without the lyrics sheet it's difficult to understand the words, but when the voices and instruments and production work in harmony like they do here, it hardly matters. (www.lambchop.net)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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