Friday, January 20, 2006

Bestest of 2005 #4: The Clientele- Strange Geometry

So, does a drunken review work as well as a sober review? We're both about to find out. And another question: has the Clientele ever made a bad song? I think the answer is no. Going to see the Clientele live in Denton a couple months ago when the band had terrible sound problems and had to turn the reverb completely off on the p.a. would have convinced me that all those people that used to say the Clientele hid behind their effects were dead wrong. But it didn't need to, because Strange Geometry had already done it. Here, the Clientele go for a bigger, more clear sound. And it works. Very well. "Since K Got Over Me," one of the strongest singles put out by anyone all year, sets the tone. The vocals and guitar are crisp and clear, but somehow the Clientele manages to maintain that dreamy, surreal vibe they've always had going for them. I was a little put back upon first hearing that this album had been produced in a real studio with "professional production values," but all it really does is help point out what great songwriters these guys are, and the fact that they can properly utilize acoustic guitars and strings to expand their sound without compromising it. Like most Clientele albums, delicate Byrdsesque pop dominates the day while sad impressionist lyrics and a sense of calm, pyschedelic sadness set the tone. More than any other band I can think of, the Clienetele paints pictures with their songs. Despite whatever is going on around me, when I hear a Clientele song I envision exactly what I think they want me to while forgetting everything else that I see. They set the mood not only audibly but visually as well... colors, shapes and light come to mind just as easily as sounds, which seems to be the point. While other bands have "energy" and make you want to dance or draw your attention to their clothes or the city they are from, the Clientele paints pictures for you, and gives you a glimpse of what it is like to exist in a permanent dream state that happens to have a great chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. Try seeing if Bloc Party can do that for you.


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