Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

June 12, 2009

dirtyprojectorsThey say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But with the Dirty Projectors’ new “Bitte Orca” (ok, not a book but a record, but anyway), maybe you can.

On the front, there’s the lovely portrait of Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian. And who could deny that their wonderful vocal performances are a big part of what makes the songs on “Bitte Orca” so immediately compelling?

And then, on the back, there’s David Longstreth, face to face with none other than Friedrich Nietzsche. Well, I know what I’d say if I was face to face with Nietzsche, but what’s Longstreth’s message? And what about the title, Bitte Orca, what is that supposed to mean? And what do we make of the first “single,” “Stillness is the Move,” presenting us with a series of top-40 platitudes?  And how about the other lyrics, such as “You represent/saying ‘I’m real’/but is that what you meant?” from “No Intention?”

Those, I’d say, are the two sides that make “Bitte Orca” so brilliant. Sounds great, right from the start. But it’ll take years of scholarship to unpack it all.

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