Double Album Review: Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez – Cryptomnesia / Despair

May 5, 2009

This is an example of a dubious album title.

Concept: New band members make for a slightly different sound. Oh wait, they’re a drummer and a bassist.

Sound: This is easily the loosest Omar’s formula has ever dared get, which is definitely something for a fellow whose music has already been described by critics as ‘a homogenous ****heap of stream-of-consciousness turgidity’. The good news is that the brief moments (2-3 minutes tops) where the rhythms manage to stabilize instead of tumbling along like a brain damaged cat trying parkour are some of the coolest tighest grooves available to rock music, and one can only hope that someone gives them a song structure to inhabit someday.

Lyrics: Aside from the usual verbal scramble, there is a new approach which is surprisingly lewd and pathetic, painting a picture of a vengeful jilted lover with leprosy and epilepsy? There is also a constant background sample of teens talking about their relationships and drugs along with a gibbering ape and a cooing adolescent.

Quick And Dirty: An extended fit of diseased musical impatience yields some strong results. Now the band needs to hold still and make an actual song. (♦♦♦♦)

You don't see enough Toucans in cover art.

Concept: The tenth (?) solo album by guitarist Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez, influenced by his time in Jerusalem and the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The cover art would also suggest this is a spiritual successor to his foremost project’s sophomore effort.

Sound: This is Omar’s second recorded attempt at noise music. It starts off quite solid, with ominous ambience suddenly lurching forward into swirling, beautifully textured discord. Then the second track enters, and it’s the exact same song. Alright, the elements have been rearranged, but even fans of noise would have to call Omar’s bluff: this is not how you make a noise album. Maybe there’s some guarded secret, where if you play each track during the opening credits of the film it’s named after the sounds match up to create a commentary, or if you speed them up and reverse them you get the lyrics to ‘Tiny Dancer’ in Portuguese, but odds are Omar made this album as an experiment and released it as a very expensive practical joke.

Lyrics: Grrraaaaaooooooooolghghghuuuuhhhhhhh…

Quick And Dirty: Maybe it would be okay to buy one track off iTunes if you want some background business or material for your budding DJ career. If you buy the album you have never been introduced to the ‘repeat’ button, or you review music for a blog. Fans of Mr. Rodriguez-Lopez, despair. (♦)

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One Response to “Double Album Review: Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez – Cryptomnesia / Despair”

  1. […] 1. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Despair […]

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