Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar)

 |   |  <1 min read

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar)

Ruban Nielson's gift for a melodic twist coupled with lyrics which say something hasn't deserted him.

If anything it has deepened and become more soulful and nuanced on this collection which refers to Prince-style soul with a disco bass line (the opener I Can't Keep Checking My Phone), deep funk (the brittle danceable pop of Like Acid Rain), the grandeur of contemporary soundtracks married to an obliquely socio-political lyric (Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty) and dreamy falsetto pop (the title track).

There's also broody balladry (the Bacharach-style horn embellishments on Necessary Evil, a standout with its slightly disturbing organ and abrasive guitar part) and much more.

What keeps this diversity coherent is the funky bottom end, Nielson's effortless vocal delivery which often sounds intimate (or annoyed) and the pop economy of these nine, discrete songs.

The notable exception to the brevity is the seven minute Puzzles which pushes the listener into interesting areas from its acoustic framing to schizophrenic funk-rock and increasingly angry tone, then back.

The spirit of classic Prince and Seventies jazz-funk haunts much of this music (no bad thing) but Nielson/UMO twist them into something their own, a kind of musically literate white-boy pop-rock with its feet on the dancefloor and stars in its slightly jaded eyes.  

Share It

Your Comments

Ra - May 25, 2015


lennonish twangs swimming through acid rinced, hazy blue tinged waters.
crunchy rolls punctuating some blaitant casio banjo and a back and forth disco beat.
just my first listen to this song but I can't wait to steep myself in the album.
love their shit!!!

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Shifting Sands: Cosmic Radio Station (Fishrider)

The Shifting Sands: Cosmic Radio Station (Fishrider)

Three years ago the Flying Nun compilation Time To Go reminded us of the downer psych-rock out of the South Island in the Eighties with familiar names like the Clean, Chills and Puddle alongside... > Read more

Algiers: Algiers (Matador)

Algiers: Algiers (Matador)

Out of the torn traditions of America's gospel'n'blues Deep South but shot through with post-punk fury, this trio take a hammer to politics, religion and race but couch it in blood-stirring... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mamie Van Doren: Separate the Men From the Boys (1958)

Mamie Van Doren: Separate the Men From the Boys (1958)

Mamie Van Doren's not inconsiderable assets -- big breasts, bleached blonde hair and a breathy speaking style -- served her well for a career in cinema and self-promotion when she emerged as a kind... > Read more

WINGS: WILD LIFE, CONSIDERED (1971): “And in the end . . .” there's a begin-again?

WINGS: WILD LIFE, CONSIDERED (1971): “And in the end . . .” there's a begin-again?

In the Beatles' Anthology DVD, their producer George Martin observed that no one – other than the four young men themselves – knew what it was like in the hurricane that was... > Read more