Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Clientele - Strange Geometry

The Clientele – Strange Geometry

Merge, 2005

Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2008

Price: $14

This is one of those records that I really liked but bought on vinyl because it had beautiful cover art. I have a habit of buying records with amazing cover art because well, it’s just so wonderful to pull it off the shelf and admire it. At KJ we get hundreds of CDs with really awful cover art with awful fonts and I almost immediately toss them aside because really, if you’re not going to put effort into making your cover art great, why should I believe that you put that much effort into your music? Anyway, that aside, I love the cover art for this record and I knew it was one of those records I’d get really, really into if I bought it. And I did, it’s a fantastic record. It sounds like a modern classic, something people will still be listening to fifteen years from now or something. Nothing that’s going to be like, life changing, but a great gem to dust off after the years that people will be selling on GEMM for high, high prices. Or at least that’s how I see it in my head. It deserves it though. The single and opening track “Since K Got Over Me” is a mope-pop jam that I haven’t grown sick of in the three or so years I’ve known this record. The whole record has this sort of great, upbeat yet maudlin tone that I’m a sucker for. It’s a dreamy record that sounds like a city at night. Actually, it sounds like the beautiful painting they used on the cover. It has this wonderful string section that runs through the background of the songs and not only does it sound great, beautiful, and unique (yet still referential, in the sense that it sounds so familiar), but it’s packed with great lines, or at least lyrics that make sense and sound meaningful. “Leaving came to us just like a song/ A dull geometry of lawns,” sticks out. The Arab Strap-esque spoken “Losing Haringey” is one of those songs that only British/Scottish/Welsh bands can pull off and it’s a nice little penultimate track. I can’t shake the feeling that these guys would probably be incredibly rude if I actually met them (I remember someone telling me that when they opened for Spoon a few years ago the guy made some crack about how their name was pronounced “The CLEE-entel” and was snide about American audiences or something), but who cares? Really, a great record is a great record.

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