The new Louis XIV album, Slick Dogs and Ponies, came out last week, and it was finally delivered to me today. It has been a long time coming, as their debut album, The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, came out in 2005. As you may know, I have nothing but good things to say about TBLSAK, as it was probably my two or three favorite albums of 2005. Jason Hill has such a great singing/talking voice. Even when it's not trying to be tawdry and ribald, it sounds that way. And as with TBLSAK, Brian Karscig's high-pitched supplemental (and sometimes lead) vocals complement Hill's vocals quite well. It seems like Karscig's voice is present a little bit more on this album, which isn't a bad thing. Overall, the album doesn't have the same energy as TBLSAK and it's a bit darker, although the sexual, raucous, '70s glam feel is still there in many of the songs. It also sounds like they've been listening to some ELO. Here is a breakdown of all the songs:
1. "Guilt By Association" harkens back to the first album and has a good glam feel to it.
2. "Air Traffic Control" is a "Space Oddity" meets Radiohead kind of soaring song.
3. "Misguided Sheep" has an ELO feel to it.
4. "There's a Traitor in This Room" is fast-paced, hooky, and delightfully naughty (it's about cheating, people), and the sing-along chorus of "I can't be so sweet to you until I find the right excuse" is pretty solid. I also like drumming on this track (by cigarette-bumming nice guy Mark "My Name Is Mark, Not Matt" Maigaard).
5. "Sometimes You Just Want To" is another tawdry little number, which includes the line, "Well, you won't stop talking when I'm trying to bang your friend, but I love you so much I'll wait until the end."
6. Presumably inspired by the llama in Napoleon Dynamite, "Tina" has an Outkast's "Roses" meets Ween style about it, but the latter part may have more to do with Karscig's voice than anything else.
7. "Stalker" is kind of trippy, with almost a Gorillaz feel to it.
8. "Free Won't Be What It Used to Be" definitely has a Beatle-esque (and, therefore, derivatively, an ELO-esque) quality about it, even with the line, "Put a needle in my vein and I fall apart."
9. "Swarming of the Bees" actually has bee swarming sounds near the end of it.
10. "Hopesick" is a ballad about having a lack of hope, which is uplifting.
11. "Slick Dogs and Ponies" is glammy and ELO-y at the same time, and a fitting decrescendo for the album, and did I hear a triangle in there?
*GMYH CD Review Scale:
-6 Handrews - Buy it now. NOW!!
-5 Handrews - Excellent album that you should seriously consider purchasing in the near future
-4 Handrews - Very good album that you should at least check out on iTunes
-3 Handrews - If you want it, download it illegally
-2 Handrews - Somewhere between Britney Spears and William Hung
-1 Handrew - Ashlee Simpson
-0 Handrews - PopoZao