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Multi-Love
     

Multi-Love

by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
 

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The third Unknown Mortal Orchestra was recorded during a tumultuous time in Ruban Neilson's life, when his ideas about love and marriage were blown apart, forever changed, and then carefully rebuilt. Fittingly, the music on Multi-Love is different too, changed from warped psychedelic weirdness into something a little

Overview

The third Unknown Mortal Orchestra was recorded during a tumultuous time in Ruban Neilson's life, when his ideas about love and marriage were blown apart, forever changed, and then carefully rebuilt. Fittingly, the music on Multi-Love is different too, changed from warped psychedelic weirdness into something a little more focused and song-oriented. Also, something less guitar-heavy and with a strong classic soul influence, almost like what Mark Ronson could have done if he overindulged in cough syrup one night. Even with the songs being on a tighter leash, and some different influences (Prince, disco, soft rock) informing them, Neilson is still far from a traditional singer/songwriter or neo-soul crooner. He layers all sorts of weird sounds into his arrangements, keeps listeners on their toes with surprising little sonic twists, and never settles into an overly familiar groove, which is a pretty common failing when indie rock people suddenly go disco or R&B. Working in his basement studio with an array of self-built synths (and his brother Kody on drums), Neilson balances his sonic explorations with some painful soul-baring, drawing listeners in with his words and emotions while dazzling them with the sounds. Shimmering tracks like the lit-by-a-disco-ball jam "Can't Keep Checking My Phone" and the strutting "Like Acid Rain" are perfect for dancing with tears in your eyes; the title track and "The World Is Crowded" are emotion-drenched midtempo laments it's easy to imagine Justin Timberlake or John Legend covering if they ever wanted to go left-field; and "Ur Life One Night" bubbles along like some low-rent Hall & Oates. The darkly melancholic late-night soft rock ballad "Necessary Evil" is a contender for best track on the album; it dials down the passion and sonic trickery to low levels and delivers more emotional power in return. It also has a beautiful horn part played by Neilson's dad Chris. Multi-Love is definitely a departure from his previous work, but he has both the skill and the passion to pull it off. Ironically, where the album stumbles a bit is on the more experimental tracks, where Neilson let his precisely controlled sound get away from him a bit. Both "Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty" and "Puzzles" stretch out far past the five-minute mark and didn't really need to, the former being derailed by a long sax solo, the latter featuring an acoustic guitar solo that seems to last forever. Subtracting these two songs from the record helps it, but leaving them in doesn't do much damage either, really. Multi-Love is still an impressive stretch that shows Neilson successfully moving away from the sound that made him strangely popular without losing much of the adventurous spirit that informed it. Plus, adding some actual wrenching emotion to the mix makes it sound like there are some real stakes involved this time out to go along with the cool sounds.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/26/2015
Label:
Jagjaguwar
UPC:
0656605226224
catalogNumber:
52262
Rank:
39166

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Unknown Mortal Orchestra   Primary Artist
Kody Nielson   Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Background Vocals
Chris Nielson   Horn
Riley Geare   Percussion,Drums
Ruban Nielson   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Strings,Sitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hurdy-Gurdy
Jacob Portrait   Bass
Duke Aipolani   Percussion

Technical Credits

Kody Nielson   Producer,Engineer
Miles Johnson   Layout
Maria Celeste   Cover Image
Riley Geare   Engineer
Ruban Nielson   Producer,Engineer,Layout
Jacob Portrait   Producer,Engineer,Additional Production

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