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The Legendary Pink Dots - The Museum of Human Happiness CD (album) cover

THE MUSEUM OF HUMAN HAPPINESS

The Legendary Pink Dots

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.00 | 1 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS are more legendary than pink at this point in history having formed in 1980 and releasing well over 70 albums. After all this time the duo of Edward Ka-Spel (who has himself released over 60 solo albums) and Phil Knight aka The Silverman have conjured up one psychedelic trip after another and although quantity usually diminishes quality, these guys have amazingly produced one interesting journey to lysergia land after another. Having never found any crossover appeal, TLPD has earned a staunch cult following of which i have to admit am a proud member of!

What's always amazed me with this act is how consistently good each and every album is with only the occasional clunker finding its way into the stream of psychedelic sublimity and although this band is now making its way through its fourth decade, it seems there's no end in sight! While practically releasing at least one or more albums every single year, TLPD suffered the same fate as many by having to sit a couple years out while the world was in lockdown due to the pandemic. Instead of wallowing in self-pity that all the tours were cancelled and the members couldn't even play together in person, the use of the internet allowed them to focus on crafting their newest release THE MUSEUM OF HUMAN HAPPINESS which served as the sole album for 2022 however several holiday themed EPs did emerge as well.

Along with guitarist / bassist Erik Drost, TLPD had to ditch the idea of releasing the album in 2020 along with their 40th anniversary tour and instead focused on a cute little art project from the daughter of Ka-Spel titled "The Museum of Happiness." This unexpected uplifting glimmer of hope sunk in and everything about the album simply fell into place. Gotta love it when that happens! Another long album here with 12 tracks that race past the 66-minute mark. While TLPD's musical palette is firmly steeped in acid-tripping psychedelia on each and every release (including this one), these guys always find a way to make each release feel totally unique and once again that is the case with THE MUSEUM OF HUMAN HAPPINESS which features more standard pop constructs than usual although the band has been known to dabble in catchier pop based tunes. Well should i say pseudo-pop?

While the music of TLPD is usually focused on instrumental freakery with the vocals playing a subservient role, on this one the music is more dependent on the lyrics that actually make sense rather than recite crazy poetry of some sort. This album is also more guitar oriented than most almost flirting with post-punk at times without quite going there. More of a neo-psychedelia experience in the vein of 90s Flaming Lips but only occasionally as Ka-Spel and Silverman dish out a lot of their classic mopey psych rock as they have since the beginning as heard on "Postcards From Home" for example. Although the album is steeped in dark musical motifs as usual, there's something a bit more upbeat about THE MUSEUM OF HUMAN HAPPINESS. Probably due to the pandemic providing enough darkness and despair for everyone, the result of this album being recorded during that period probably unlocked some need for optimism.

The crazy thing about THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS is that in some ways all their albums blur together like a hazy dream yet also showcase individualistic features that clearly keep them unique. The same is true with this one as there is plenty to latch your attention on and then again there's nothing to latch your attention on. The way the album flows throws your senses off which is one of the strongest attributes of TLPD. Everything is just off from "normal" music yet it comes off as easy to follow. When it comes down to it, THE MUSEUM OF HUMAN HAPPINESS is another strong release form the PINKSTERS but at the same time this one doesn't grab me like just about everything of their canon from the 1980s to 2000s. Some great individual tracks but ultimately i think it's the length of the album and a host of mediocre tracks that bog this one down for me. Not their best but decent.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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