Plaid & Bob Jaroc :: Greedy Baby (Warp, CD/DVD)

1360 image 1(08.09.06) Having been a fan of Plaid since I first had a copy of Not for Threes in my hands, I was looking forward to hearing their latest CD, Greedy Baby. The first release in three years for the duo of Ed Handley and Andy Turner, I have to say it’s just not my kind of Plaid.

This time around, they’ve paired up with video artist Bob Jaroc to produce a CD/DVD double disc of nine songs and accompanying videos. It seems like a potentially interesting collaboration, but it falls short of the energy with which Plaid usually infuses their music.

Greedy Baby starts off with a track composed of layers of dial tones, operator messages and people trying to connect calls, blending in with various snips of noise. Instead of being interesting or different, it’s more annoying, and apt to make the listener move to the next track.

It doesn’t really get better from there. The problem isn’t that the music is that awful. It’s just–forgettable. It seems more like an afterthought than a well-planned effort, and the addition of the videos turns Plaid’s music into background noise.

The video DVD pairs a stream of visual videos up with the music, which again, aren’t really that interesting. It’s such an effort to sit still and listen to the droning tracks, and the somber, slow visuals don’t help out.

Plaid’s been producing great sounds for a while now–electronica with quirks and fresh takes. So they decided to try something different. And that’s fine; experimentation is what makes electronic music continue to push the boundaries. But this effort comes off lackluster, and I hope their next release is more of what their fans are used to–without another three-year wait.

Greedy Baby is out now on Warp. Buy it at Amazon.com.

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