Third Eye Foundation

Third Eye Foundation

Little Lost Soul

Merge

Even supervillains can fall in love. Come one, didn’t you think it could be true? Don’t you think even supervillains can get lonely every once in awhile? I do, and I think that Matt Elliot of the Third Eye Foundation does, too. Because where once the Third Eye Foundation was the sound of fiendish plots and monstrous feral bloodlust, it’s now calm and reflective, more twisted and beautiful.

I will not be distracted from my metaphor. “I’ve Lost That Loving Feline” retains the nervous and stuttering drum programming but replaces metallic scree with delicate late-night AOR keyboard and disembodied near-operatic male and female vocal samples. It segues flawlessly (goddamn Mr. DJ) into “What Is It With You,” which retains a central machine hum motif while the drums veer from gentle Goldie to distorted DHR destruction. “Stone Cold Said So” has to be the most deceiving song title ever, and though I always have to hail a wrestling reference in experimental music, baby, the song does the talking here. Gentle, careful, as if not to scare someone away, still so nervous but graceful like an orchid. Which brings me to the last three songs, masterpieces of near-This Mortal Coil-like grandeur. “Lost” finds in root in a gentle acoustic guitar arrangement, a chorus of ghosts, Bad Seeds piano, and the laments of a man that sounds like a gramophone recording from 1901. It’s perfect. “Jesus Break” loops sadly back and forth in on itself and “Goddamnit You’ve Got to Be Kind” is almost scarily optimistic and near anthemic as Third Eye Foundation is going to get. From megalomania to melancholy and right back again.

Little Lost Soul is the soundtrack for human brains encased in robotic shells and maniacs in gaudy serpentine robes to stare at faded photographs of that perfect and elusive other. Perhaps that other seems closer than ever before. Perhaps thoughts of warmth and touch are more important than vengeance and malice after all. Don’t tell me though. I want to find out for myself.

Merge Records, Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514; http://www.mrg2000.com

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