The Phoenix Network:
See all in CD Reviews
Off the Couch: From Allysen to Apathy
Review: The Bad Plus's For All I Care
Heads Up (2009)
January 27, 2009
FOR ALL I CARE
" alt="photo of 'FOR ALL I CARE'">
On each of their previous albums, the Bad Plus let it be known — via covers of tunes from Blondie to Black Sabbath, Rush to Bacharach/David — that they owed as much to classic rock and pop as to prog jazz. So it's no real shocker that the piano trio would release an album offering no original material, or that the track list would be an eclectic one, skittering from Heart (a faithfully reproduced "Barracuda") to the Bee Gees (a soothingly spacy "How Deep Is Your Love"), with a little Stravinsky, Babbitt, and Ligeti thrown in.
For All I Care
adds vocalist Wendy Lewis to the line-up of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer David King, and though it inches the Bad Plus closer to the pop mainstream, it never loses the particular rhythmic and harmonic quirks that have defined them so far. At the CD's best — the Flaming Lips' "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate," Wilco's "Radio Cure," Roger Miller's "Lock, Stock and Teardrops," even Yes's "Long Distance Runaround" — time is stretched like taffy, splinters of sound jab and dart and disappear, and all four participants flirt with detachment and dissonance even while holding tight to the center. But elsewhere, Lewis can seem like the fourth wheel she is.
On the opening "Lithium" (the group's second Nirvana cover — "Smells like Teen Spirit" anchored their debut), she merely echoes Cobain, and the disjointed Pink Floyd tune "Comfortably Numb," despite sparkling individual performances from the core trio, would have come off less bar-band and more Bad Plus had the vocals been stripped altogether.
Wilco (Musical Group)
Heart (Musical Group)
For All I Care
For All I Care
See more deals
ARTICLES BY JEFF TAMARKIN
NEW YORK DOLLS | DANCING BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS
| March 17, 2011
The new New York Dolls have now been around longer - and released more albums (three) - than the old New York Dolls, and they're commemorating that new longevity by letting go of any compulsion they may have still harbored to honor their designation as "punk-rock progenitors."
BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS | SCANDALOUS
| March 09, 2011
The soul revival has been going on long enough now that maybe it's a not a bad idea to stop calling it a revival at all.
BRYAN FERRY | OLYMPIA
| October 19, 2010
From the Kate Moss cover pic to the A-list of guest stars to the reunion with original Roxy Music members Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, and Andy Mackay, Olympia screams, "EVENT!"
OLD 97'S | THE GRAND THEATRE
| October 12, 2010
When Old 97's are on — which they are most of the time on their eighth studio album — they're very, very on.
DAR WILLIAMS | MANY GREAT COMPANIONS
| October 05, 2010
The companions of the title are Dar Williams's songs, which the singer-songwriter revisits here two different ways.
See all articles by:
Photos: Dudesmash 2 @ the Met
Photos: The Westboro Baptist Church tour
Featured Articles in CD Reviews
Marnie Stern | The Chronicles of Marnia
The Men | New Moon
Atoms for Peace | AMOK
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Push The Sky Away
Beach Fossils | Clash The Truth
Film + TV
Food + Drink
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Advertise With Us
Work For Us
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group