By Kenny McMurtrie
Having spent a large part of the festive season playing Lambchop‘s early compilation Tools In The Dryer, I was pretty well primed for tackling this, album number 11 proper from the band. The downside of that early aural limbering up being of course that the likelihood of there being some upbeat remixes on Mr. M is slim to naught and sure enough the regular path of Americana is trodden once more in the course of the 11 tracks contained herein.
Or not. Opener ‘If Not I’ll Just Die’ gives us late-night, piano bar jazz topped off with swooning strings. Very much then the “‘psycha-Sinatra’” sound as spoken of by lead maestro Kurt Wagner. A muted lushness is prevalent on ’2B2′ as Wagner chronicles the stuttering of a relationship. ‘Gone Tomorrow’ opens in a more familar musical vein and moves along at a jaunty, toe-tapping clip whilst managing to maintain the lushness from the strings as evinced in the opening two numbers. The ubiquitous strings open ‘Mr. Met’ all on their own and provide a good counterpoint throughout its seven minute amble across the airwaves.
At this point I’m as bored writing about this album as the remaining songs (apart from ‘The Good Life Is Wasted’) made me when initially listening to it so I’m dispensing with the pretence of describing them. Lambchop are an acquired taste and probably deserve to be more than background music but emotionally I’ve managed to not be reached by this work. I very much doubt I’ll ever listen to this again after tonight but if you’re already a fan then you’re in safe hands so knock yourself out with it.