James Figurine

    Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake

    7

    A friend and I have, for a while now, contemplated the merits of dropping the Postal Service‘s
    “Clark Gable” during a deejay set. Pros: It’s got an insanely high
    sing-along rating. It’s upbeat and instantly recognizable. And it would
    probably mix well with that glistening intro section. Cons: You can’t
    quite dance to clunk-clunk-clunk of it without feeling awkward. The
    beat is a little too rigid. And it’s the Postal Service.

    [more:]

     

    Needless
    to say, producer Jimmy Tamborello doesn’t make records for the clubs.
    His compositions, as perhaps the definitive blip-and-bloop artist, use
    the electronic forum as a template for experimentation, typically at
    the sacrifice of danceability. Tamborello‘s
    work, as Dntel, Figurine and the Postal Service, has always been more
    like music for emo kids to play after they’re done having a good cry.

     

    That was until Tamborello released Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake under
    the solo moniker James Figurine. The product of Tamborello’s travels
    through Germany and hearing (and for the first time really listening
    to) the club-oriented music of Kompakt and Parfum, the album explores
    the new sonic objective of getting the booties shaking.

     

    But
    Tamborello’s distinctive, pop-friendly production style can’t help but
    shine through. On opener “55566688833,” the track most similar to his
    moody, semi-alienated work with Figurine, Tamborello moans in his
    trademark monotone a tale about, of all things, text messaging. (The
    digits spell out l-o-v-e. Ugh.) Elsewhere, he stumbles on “Apologies,”
    enlists the help of Erlend Øye to sing on the deftly structured but somewhat sleepy “All The Way to China” and wastes Jenny Lewis‘s vocal contribution on the underwhelming “You Again.”

     

    Tamborello
    succeeds when he’s on point in structuring his vision of German house
    without too much intrusion of his past styles. “Ruining the Sundays”
    (screw minimalism) and “White Ducks” (you’d never guess it’s a
    Tamborello track) are his primary accomplishments in this realm, each
    of which would play well alongside the work of Superpitcher or Schaeben
    & Voss. But perhaps the best example is “Leftovers,” a track that
    features Tamborello fusing his lackluster vocals with a hot dance beat
    that builds and bends in all the right ways.

     

    What
    we’re left with is, as Tamborello seems to point out with his album title,
    ten songs that primarily lost their way or diverted from their original
    intention. But overall, the bunch is some of the artist’s best work to
    date. If you can deal with Jimmy Jam’s emo-rific mumbling, you’ll
    probably find a groove somewhere that’s ready to be busted.

     

    Discuss this review at The Prefix Message Board   

    Streaming audio

    Plug Research Web site

    SHARE
    Previous articleTiconderoga
    Next articleCurses