Sunday, November 27, 2011
Rafter's Got Animal Feelings
It's hard to really nail down Rafter. This one man show is literally so in love with music, he tries to cram just about everything into his latest album, Animal Feelings. While most definitely a record in touch with it's pop side, it truly amazing how much other stuff in there. In listening to Animal Feelings I think you can just about spot everything but country and my guess is there's some hint of it hidden in there somewhere. Anyway, that being said, Animal Feelingsis kind of a patchwork of sounds that when pasted together forms this solid bond of ridiculously good music. Sounding a bit like MGMT in love with the Tom Tom Club who hang out with the Postal Service in a dark room it's an interesting fusion of influences that works. With horns, off-kilter beats, strings, and a pdf of the KLF's guide to writing a #1 single, Rafter attack pop with a shambolic approach and make a rather decent album out of it.
Animal Feelings is kitsch, weird, and all about finding someone to love or at least to dance with for the duration of the album. It's needs are simple and it's pretty much willing to do anything to achieve them. Rafter can be as weird as it wants to be as in the performance piece that is "Beauty Beauty," or as simple as it wants as on, "Timeless Form, Formless Time," and make either of them work; although I'd advise against the strange performance junk. Animal Feelings is a simply good pop record that goes around the block the wrong way to get there and has a lot of fun doing it. A song like, "Fruit," for example takes the indirect approach at trying to hook up and while it sounds like it's going to fail, in the end it works and Rafter succeeds. In fact, much of Animal Feelings is like that, it's a backwards pop album that goes about things all the wrong ways, makes a ruckus doing it, and still comes out ahead.
Going about things the wrong way, and being just plain weird is nothing new for Rafter and judging by how good Animal Feelings it's something that works pretty well for him. Never one to rest on his laurels or his sound, Rafter is constantly altering things, changing things up and doing things differently. It's that approach that makes him so entertaining and makes an album like Animal Feelings impossible to nail down. Rafter is the master of unpredictability and lets hope he keeps us guessing for a long long time.