2012-08-17Multi-instrumentalist, composer, drummer, sought-after producer, and collaborator, Shawn Lee, has a new album. Reel To Reel is his eleventh release as Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra. Yes, he calls it an orchestra, but this is pretty much all Shawn Lee, having played or sampled most things here himself. Funky instrumentals, fun samples, and unique instrumentation are what one expects from Mr. Lee and those things can be found here. In fact, the disc starts out on the right track with "Boomwack" and "Mirror Mirror". Fifth track, "Daylight Robbery" is one of the best tracks here with it's blackxploitation sound. Mid-disc, however, Mr. Lee loses focus and the disc seems to toil along with several plodding ("Well Hung", "Spy Seduction") and downright unimaginative songs ("Big Ben" and "Biker Chick") Even the "Song For Ennio", which has all the cinematic elements one might expect from a song for Ennio Morricone, somehow fails to capture my interest. Shawn Lee is one of my favorite artists, but Reel To Reel doesn't quite measure up. Rebecca Ruth
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