Apr 1, 2009

The best album of 2009 is Dan Deacon's Bromst. Here's why...

Edit, December 2009: The best album of 2009 is not Bromst. Yeah, I know, I'm contradicting myself, but hey, this here post was from April! Here is my full and final run-down of the best albums of 2009. And now back to the post you clicked on in the first place...

Welcome to the best album of 2009.

It's tempting to label Dan Deacon's Bromst as a coming-of-age masterpiece, using my best Wonder Years voice. But it's only his second UK album proper; he's barely in long trousers yet (see picture!).

I know it's only the beginning of April, but this is the best long player of the year. Here's why:

Bromst opens with Build Voice, which does what it says on the tin, and gives you the same swirling tingle you got in your loins at the start of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion. I expected some toytown trickery and silliness, but this opener is reserved, considered, and, dare my pouting mouth whisper it, mature. Its melodic choir and hopscotch piano makes way for an extended fart: we're into the start of Red F and an energetic, almost frenetic speed pop track that loses none of the melody.

Are those chipmunks hidden in the chorus of Paddling Ghost? The playfulness is still here, raising a cub scout salute and making a goofy face, but like the wonderfully titled and beautifully epic Surprise Stefani, all the Timmy Mallett-ness is integrated into the songwriting.

So Deacon throws us wailing spirituals (Wet Wings), stuttering dog samples (Woof Woof), plus even more chipmunks only a lot, lot faster (Baltihorse), and we catch every single one of them because it all makes glorious sense.

If Flying Lotus hadn't already done it, Bromst has made me fall in love with electronica all over again. By the time we're at the xylophones and modem tones of closing Get Older, which in Max Tundra's hands would be endearingly comical, our heads are bursting with rhythm and colour and cacophonous bliss.

This is the sound of a musical genius having the absolute best time of his life. The streaming link I mentioned in this post a couple of weeks ago is no longer online, so try here instead.


Lifer said...


Fat Roland said...

I had to google B.O.S.

Bank Of Scotland?

British Orthodontic Society?

Borneo Orangutan Survival? (Yes it exists.)

Ah, I'm on acronymfinder.com. Best Of Show. You mean it's good in its field, but not overall. Is that right? Please type Y for yes and N for no.

steve said...

Yeah, I'll have to give this and his last long player a listen. I can't decide if I love or hate the guy, or his music at least. I tried to at least like Animal Collective and ended up wanting to take a bazooka to Strawberry Jam. I just need to open my mind more I guess.

Fat Roland said...

If you couldn't cope with Animal Collective, then don't bother with this. I'm quite fond of the 'Collective, myself. You see - I even abbreviated their name because I'm, like, so "in" with them.

steve said...

I do believe in second, third, even fourth impressions though, and some of Dan's stuff I've enjoyed, and some of Animal Collective's stuff perked my ear.

I remember how much i hated Autechre's "Amber", and now it's one of my favorite AE albums. I also remember picking up Ultramarine's "Every man and Woman is a Star" on cassette years ago, when i was still heavily into stuff like Front 242, Skinny Puppy and Godflesh. I really didn't like that much at all as well, until about a year later, it finally clicked with me, and again, it's one of my favorite electronic lps.

If anything, I wouldn't mind seeing/hearing Dan Deacon live, or Animal Collective for that matter.

Fat Roland said...

Crikey, Ultramarine. With Robert Wyatt. Just sublime.

I hold a special, evil place in my heart for the denser 1990s Front 242. If someone annoys me, I glare at them and my brain plays Religion: "Burn you DOWN!"

steve said...

Haha! Me too (with regards to "Burn you down"! I do love their early, sparse new wavy stuff as well though.