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

Various Artists: Compton (Aftermath)

Various Artists: Compton (Aftermath)

So just to be clear there's the NWA classic gangsta rap album Straight Outta Compton and now a bio-pic of the same name. But despite this being subtitled "A Soundtrack by Dr Dre" it... > Read more

Paley and Francis: Reid Paley and Black Francis (Cooking Vinyl)

Paley and Francis: Reid Paley and Black Francis (Cooking Vinyl)

After the Pixies split in the early 90s, Black Francis became Frank Black for enjoyable power-pop and post-punk solo albums with odd lyrical content of no fixed direction, and later worked with... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PABLO PICASSO, A RETROSPECTIVE (2012): Macho minotaur and old goat

PABLO PICASSO, A RETROSPECTIVE (2012): Macho minotaur and old goat

In his final few years, Picasso painted over 400 canvases. Few people however would argue all these works were the equal of his early provocative masterpieces in the three decades after 1907.... > Read more

WIRED FOR SOUND: Electronic music for the mind and body

WIRED FOR SOUND: Electronic music for the mind and body

When composer Douglas Lilburn left New Zealand at the dawn of the Sixties, it was because he felt he had been isolated from developments in contemporary music, and he was curious about electronic... > Read more