The Bodies Obtained
Finding You Attractive
The angry, disembodied head-on-a-pilaster with an oboe in its mouth is a clue — this is jazz, but angry jazz. You know right away that last off-ramp was a wrong turn as soon as “Death From Above” kicks in; the backwards sounding rhythm and distant vocals sound like ionospheric fading on an old shortwave set, interspersed with an argument between that snotty kid next door and the paperboy. More melody arises in the next cut, the Wall of Voodoo influenced “Baby, It’s Not A Sin,” then the plaintive creepiness of “Why Can’t You Love Me?” clarifies the B-movie plot of a band’s romantic involvements. Elements of Sparks, very early Talking Heads, and a rambunctious synthesizer bed under the clear, yet odd-sounding vocals define The Bodies Obtained. Every electronically generated sound here depends on a long attack and a short decay. That’s not a problem with a modern synthesizer, but pre-digital art rockers would need a tape deck, a roll of Scotch tape, a razor blade, and a month of Sundays to make this intriguing soundscape.
The Bodies Obtained make music like their mother forced them to take piano lessons, and rather than join a commune, they are bound and determined to show her results, but only on their own terms. They carry on the compositional styles of complex late cycle jazz inter-splicing multiple melodies and multiple rhythms in each song. Only a dedicated listen with a glass of Yukon Road Cabernet will tease apart the complexity of the music, but it’s worth the effort. Here’s a great holiday trick — listen to this disc until you can sing along, and slip it in the party music rotation when you want folks to go home. Belt out “Walking on My Head” karaoke style, and see who your real friends are.