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 Pines: Tremolo (Red House/Ode)

The Pines: Tremolo (Red House/Ode)

Quite why the Pines -- who are Branson, the son of the legendary singer-songwriter Bo Ramsey, and David Huckfelt -- didn't get more alt.country/indie.rock traction with their excellent Sparrows in... > Read more

Hot 8 Brass Band: On the Spot (Tru Thoughts/Rhythmethod)

Hot 8 Brass Band: On the Spot (Tru Thoughts/Rhythmethod)

Out of the many guests at this weekend's Womad you can guess that these guys from New Orleans – who deliver up pop-funk classics alongside originals and familiar tunes with their own twist... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND goes back to Berlin of the Cold War

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND goes back to Berlin of the Cold War

Nunnally Johnson’s Cold War drama Night People (1954) opens with the words "Berlin Today" superimposed over a shot of the four flags of the city’s occupying forces. The... > Read more

Reem Kelani: Sprinting Gazelle (2006)

Reem Kelani: Sprinting Gazelle (2006)

Subtitled "Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora", this sometimes astonishing debut album remains breathtaking in its scope -- from a lullaby to a moving song of... > Read more