“Kiss me” read red lips, flashing across the cover. Like a dare that won’t stop there, they repeat: Three times. Three strikes. Three bullets
Throughout Carry Fire, some coals burn hotter than others, but none flameout. Instead, they move through the skin with the comfort of a warm winter treat, a hot chocolate for the soul.
UMO is kinda like a lo-fi prince. And I’m talking the gigolo of funk, the true king of the Eighties prince: capital-P Prince.
The third album is a pain in the ass, an asshole, a bastard. It broke the Mint Chicks and sent Ruben Nielson scurrying to Portland, Oregon to cache himself in graphic design and commercial art. However, the foxhole he ended up in was a basement studio filled with all the gadgets and toys a growing musician needs.
We may have been too carried away last record not to notice that the now-known Mortal behind the Orchestra didn’t particularly enjoy being high as a kite on a mountainside all the time. Perhaps we forgot why it’s called a daytrip and why we take them. Abnormal days require special cool-down times.
Ruins expressly never falls in to the trap. It stays light-footed, yet heart-heavied. Too loud to be Simon and Garfunkel, too soft to be HAIM. Too mental to fall asleep on its lyricism, too laid-back to depart the beds of each song.
In a sober-state, the Unknown Mortal voice behind the Orchestra would confuse me. He’s flexing Harrison-esque vocal muscles cloaked in studio effects, as if trying hide what is so painfully obvious: the mind-flaying musical alphabet starts with a B-Eatles and the drugs make you see shit, hear shit, believe shit.