Album Review

Blue Record EP

Blue Record EP

by Unknown Mortal Orchestra


Jagjaguwar
8 / 10
1st November 2013

Reviewed by Vincent Michaelsen


Less than a year after the release of II, Ruban Nielson brings us Blue Record, an acoustic EP featuring tracks from the band's last record and covers of Beck and Dirty Projectors.

Nielson's conversion of the originals is seamless, his loose finger style guitar work filling in much of the sonic landscape. Of the UMO numbers, 'Sleep and Swim (Like a Shark)' and 'So Good At Being In Trouble' feel very much like the original tracks, toned down a notch and more intimate. 'Faded In The Morning' however, is the real gem of the EP, transcribed from its heavier album version to something intensely dark and beautiful. Nielson turns a sweeter note with Dirty Projectors' 'Swing Lo Magellan', differentiating the song with his higher vocals, before closing out the EP with a less conventional take on Beck's 'Puttin It Down'.

What I like best about acoustic tracks from any artist is the reduction of instrumentation down to a song's most simple form, and as such, the removal of the temporal context of a song. While UMO's psychedelic textures are almost without compare, here we get the root of the song, unmarked by time or trend.




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