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Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity CD (album) cover

FRIEND OPPORTUNITY

Deerhoof

 

Crossover Prog

3.37 | 17 ratings

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N-sz
5 stars I didn't plan to do much reviewing, (and this is my second one, so I hope this is what people look for in a review) but I think it is important that there are reviews from the people who really get what Deerhoof is doing here just as I think it is important that there are reviews from people who rate this album poorly as well because people will find both kinds of reviews to be useful. It would be silly to call people who don't like Deerhoof 'close-minded'. I think for the most part it is because of Satomi that people find them obnoxious. I happen to be able to tolerate (and enjoy) lo-fi music done by poorly trained musicians instrument-wise, but these are not poorly trained musicians. I admit though, I don't know what makes a singer considered well trained. So while I see it as perfectly understandable that someone wouldn't like them, I suggest that everyone should give them a chance.

Moving on though to the actual album: Friend Opportunity. I may have been generous with some ratings, but this is one of my favorite albums of all time. Perhaps my second favorite, so I do not exaggerate my love for this album.

Almost all albums take time to grow on me, usually starting with one or two that I like on first listen, and then I begin to appreciate the subtleties of the rest. This happened fairly quickly for me here, although there were a few songs that took a while to grow on me: Choco Fight and Kidz Are So Small. Although I always love kooky things, these songs just bugged me. I apologize for not being able to be more descriptive here, but I simply began to enjoy them after a while. That's it. Although I have to say, I always loved the bass in Choco Fight. It really makes me want to walk in around a city, late at night, with that playing through the alleyways. Then there's +81 which is the only one that doesn't do a whole lot for me still, however it doesn't ruin anything for me since it's only the second song.

Pretty much everything else blows me away. After +81 is when Deerhoof really takes off to show you their madness, beginning with Believe E.S.P, the first song of theirs to catch my interest. I think half of these songs have brainwashed me in one way or another because they really all sound like it. I believe this is how Satomi really uses her vocal style to her advantage - not to attempt being a pop star, but to either be a.) a fun pop singer, or b.) a creepy, crazy, cult-like creature of the deep.

And boy, do I wonder how they write these songs. It seems clear that most songs are not done by just one member as they have such a bizarre mixture of sounds and style. Greg can be anything from a sloppy, free rock drummer to an ambient drum wizard; John always compliments the spacey and/or creepy sounds just right; and it is the one Satomi who turns it into what the finished piece is. I always wondered what their real creative process is, though. I guess you'd have to be there!

My favorite song here: Caste Off Crown. Here is where Greg Saunier shows us his vocal skills. This song is stunningly beautiful and Greg really makes it that way. The transitioning between the heavy, noisy parts, and the cool, airy verse really mystifies the whole experience. I won't give it all away though.

I think Deerhoof is one of the best bands at being consistently good, while always changing in sound. No two tracks on Friend Opportunity even sound like they were obviously written by the same people. With the eerie sounds of Believe E.S.P and Choco Fight, the beautiful, relaxing sounds of The Galaxist, Whither the Invisible Birds?, and Caste Off Crown, the intensity of The Perfect Me and Matchbook Seeks Maniac, and then to end it all with the eerily beautiful intensity of the 11 minute-45 second, Look Away, this highly experimental album is like nothing else!

10/10 - easy

N-sz | 5/5 |

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