2009-01-24The Bad Plus took a chance, going in a different direction with this one and some fans (including myself) don't care for the disparate sound. What's so different? Well, they've added the vocals of Wendy Lewis (Minneapolis alt-band, Redstart). I think her decision to do the vocals in such a straightforward manner was a good one, I would just rather they weren't there at all. As far as the production itself, it seems to have been mastered "hot" (that is with the needles far into the red). Everything is a bit muffled and even the bass sounds tinny and over-worked. The best songs here are the older classical pieces, such as Igor Stravinsky's "Variation d'Apollon", Gyorgy Legeti's "Fem Etude No.8", and the Babbit/Freed piece, "Semi-Simple Variations". Reviewed by Rebecca Ruth
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