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Clogs - The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.17 | 4 ratings

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3 stars Often quirky and sophisticated and sometimes entertaining, CLOGS specialize in what one might call "Egghead Music", brimming with intellectual assimilation of various highbrow styles like chamber music, minimalism, avant garde and even opera. While the overall effect is somewhat cold and calculated, sufficient understanding of the role of emotion in music seems to have crossed the moat and mounted the ivory tower. I found plenty to enjoy when the brain and the heart were able to engage simultaneously, even if I don't meet the likely academic prerequisite for full appreciation.

While the manipulative artifice of the opener "Cocodrillo" does not bode well, and "The Owl of Love" and "Adages of Cleansing" quell any musical insight with smarmy dissonance and cold sopranos, "I Used to Do" and "To Hugo" demonstrate the hypnotic minimalist and chamber folk flip side of CLOGS respectively to worthwhile effect. On the vocal front, Matt Berninger's fireside warm "Last Song" is a stunner, a cross between MOONGARDEN and CRASHTEST DUMMIES musically, but the repeated lyrical message is profoundly succinct. Another highlight is courtesy of guest vocalist SUFJAN STEVENS who somehow transforms "Red Sea" into his own, the character of the band itself resting on his broad shoulders.

After an initially unfavorable impression, I admit to reveling in about half of this immensely, and if you think you might be partial to chamber folk, or are a fan of NORTH SEA RADIO ORCHESTRA or MR TOAD, pick up and put on your CLOGS post haste.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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