Body of Song
one loves ol' Bob more than I do. Since Workbook, Mould has
created some of his most interesting and lyrically moving material,
either by himself or with those Sugar boys.
That said, Body of
Song is a curiosity of sorts. Mould has decided that good songs
and his own voice just ain't enough, so he's enlisted the most annoying
technological accouterment of modern dance music, the vocoder, just
like the one Cher used on her madly successful dance albums. I gotta
believe its just residue from 2002's Modulate and its supporting
tour, where Bob played mad scientist with the beat box.
Thankfully, the dancing
Bob with the robot voice shows up sparingly on Body of Song.
Mould instead mixes styles that span from the Husker days ("Best
Thing") to Workbook ("Gauze of Friendship")
to Sugar ("Circles") to File Under: Easy Listening
("Missing You"), only skipping the beautiful bleakness
of Black Sheets of Rain (I guess because Bob's a popster
The dreaded vocoder pops
up on "(Shine Your) Light Love Hope," a track that unnecessarily
electroplates textures over Bob's voice while adding plenty of sweaty
thump-thump-thump dance beats. It doesn't work, at least for this
old-school fan. How would the track have sounded sans technology
with straight-up rock drums? We'll never know. We only get a slight
synth line added to the guitar roar on "Paralyzed," but
"I Am Vision I Am Sound" is yet another trip down the
Ah, but then there's
the good parts. "Days of Rain" is a straight-up back-beat
rocker, unrestrained and chiming with the same vulnerable vocals
heard on Workbook. "Best Thing" is the kind of
Mould that everyone's been waiting for, complete with the line "You
just lost the best thing you never had." "High Fidelity"
is a sappy, traditional guitar ballad that no will be expecting,
while "Missing You" flies atop a layer of Mould-on-Mould
harmonies and a brash mid-song guitar solo.
Yeah, it would have been
better without the electro-dance stuff, but overall it's the best
Bob has done since File Under
Posted July 18,
2005. Copyright © 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
would have been better without the electro-dance stuff, but
overall it's the best Bob has done since File Under