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Dan Baker

CD of The Week

Week of 2/27/17

    Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors (Domino)

    Nearly five years after their last album, Dirty Projectors have released their self-titled seventh LP. Gone are the harmonies, replaced with heartbreak. This is a poetic breakup album that looks back on the split between frontman David Longstreth and ex-band member Amber Coffman back in 2013, just after the group's last tour. 

    The album starts out with the melodic "Keep Your Name." On this song of guilt, Longstreth initially places blame on his past companion with the lyrics, "I don't know why you abandoned me / you were my soul and my partner." "Death Spiral' is an R&B song about how Longstreth's relationship plummeted to its demise. While a lyrical downer, it has an addicting beat. "Up in Hudson" is one of the most comprehensive breakup songs of all-time. It goes into details such as "The first time ever I saw your face / laid my eyes on you / was the Bowery Ballroom stage / you were shredding Marshall tubes."

    Opening with striking keys and quickly turning electronic, "Work Together" is an intricate song both lyrically and musically. It's possible that Longstreth and Coffman may have butted heads as this song explores the 'what if,' had compromise occurred over competition. "Little Bubble" is a soft song that anyone who's ever been in love can attest to - when you're together, you forget the world around you exists. "Winner Take Nothing" shows exceptional range from Longstreth. Another R&B track on the album, this one displays smooth fluidity and even some hip-hop undertones. "Ascent Through Clouds" features two sets of lyrics simultaneously sang together, each riffing off one another. "Even though I want to / I find it hard to stay in constant contact / I gotta go my own way."

    Dirty Projectors puts the Longstreth and Coffman relationship under a spotlight, spanning their first encounter, ups and downs, heartbreak, memories, moving on, and the eventual extinction. It's hard to say if Longstreth is trying to win Coffman back, though he did recently produce her upcoming solo album, City of No Reply. Ultimately, this relationship will always have a lasting effect on Longstreth, emotionally and musically.

    Review by Gina Rullo

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