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Judy G.

CD of The Week

Week of 8/01/22

    Superorganism - World Wide Pop (Domino)

    One of the best songs from World Wide Pop, the second album from London's Superorganism, is "Put Down Your Phone." It may strike the listener as meta, considering that their entire vibe is seemingly a pastiche of every app on your smartphone going off at once. Okay, perhaps not all of them, but the message is rooted in the act of admitting that most of us are addicted to our phones; we recognize that our attention spans have gotten shorter but can't help ourselves. As singer Orono Naguchi lazily croons "As you're listening to this, On your shi**y little dumb device, Jeff Bezos is making 3K a second," she offers us the sage advice to disconnect once in a while. However, the band still wants you to spend the 40+ minute run time of WWP consuming their blend of cut-and-paste hyper-pop from the future. It is, in fact, a mostly joyous ride.

    After a four-year lapse, WWP starts off with "Black Hole Baby" which includes a repeat of the main phrase from the theme song to Welcome Back Kotter. At least most Gen-Xers will recognize it as such.  Meanwhile, Orono and crew pepper the album with their now signature array of sound effects woven within their beats and beeps. The FX actually mirrors the music, a crunching apple may appear alongside a beeping phone, while acoustic guitars are woven into the digital grooves. It's a fine blend of organic and synthetic.

    The album was mostly composed and arranged via shared files across the internet, but what is lacking is discipline; it seems everyone's ideas are forced into all 13 songs creating an overwhelming explosion of sound that occasionally moves at a frenetic pace. Most of the songs actually shine brighter when shuffled into a playlist, allowing them to stand out on their own. Singles like "On And On" and "crushed.zip" feel sugary on the surface, but reveal the negatives of being stuck in dead-end situations which can push some into nihilism. "I'm stuck in a sitcom, shoulda never been pitched in the first place, I really don't get why they keep renewing it, like What's the point? It's a waste of time." On "Oh Come On," Orono examines the pros and cons of touring and "Don't Let the Colony Collapse" touches on environmental issues. Difficult issues coated with a sunny, albeit noisy, disposition.

    Overall, WWP is an exhilarating, cosmic romp and even a fruit fly makes an appearance on "Into The Sun." There are a few guest appearances to note (CHAI, Stephen Malkmus), but they don't serve much purpose other than fulfilling the dreams of the band. Aside from a few overindulgences, Superorganism continues to broaden their audio and visual experience; the videos in support of the album are quite entertaining, some created by artist AEVA, which are not to be missed.

    Just don't miss Superorganism when their spaceship lands in Philadelphia at Union Transfer on Saturday, November 5th.
    Review by Dave Lindquist

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