The Sky Above and The Mud Below
I’ll say this of the Tall Dwarfs: if you like one of their songs, you’ll love the album. However, if you don’t like the first song, the rest of the disc is a drag that’s 25 cuts long. The lyrics are complicated (each cleanly rendered into print in the comprehensive liner notes), and sung in a simple straightforward style typically backed with a single guitar. The music is more or less simple, straightforward and reminiscent of another two-guy group, but lacking the catchy hooks and pop sensibilities that it takes to make a record like this a fun listen.
In fact, the whole thing sounds a bit like an acoustic folk group singing about the evils of war, dividends and SUV’s, knowing that people will listen out of agreement rather than enduring pop sensibilities. Not that this disc has a unrelenting political bent. Their songs are also about pop star fan ennui (“Meet the Beatle”), young middle class aspirations (“Chosen Few”) and general popular music appreciation (“OK Forever”), and there in lies the rub. Its dissonance over harmony, and simplicity without charm, make it a difficult disc to appreciate.
Carrot Top Records: http://www.carrottoprecords.com/