Thursday, October 3, 2013

Album Review: Crystal Shipsss- Dirty Dancer

Crystal Shipsss
Dirty Dancer
*** out of *****

Crystal Shipsss is the brain child of Berlin-based artist Jacob Faurholt and Dirty Dancer is the most personal release he has unleashed to date. There is a poetic feel to the disk that at times can drift into artistic realms, songs feel unfinished but that seems to be part of the point as Faurholt dips into lo-fi pop Daniel Johnston-light territory, searching for answers in the cosmos where he knows there aren't any.    

"Screaming Teens" starts off eerie with wisps and drops in upbeat acoustic breaks, while "I Know" works with a spoken word motif in front of buzzing sounds. Faurholt's voice is a definite draw as it can seem cryptic when he wants to ("18 Years Old" is one example) but also breathtaking like on the delicate "I'm Not Insane" which is augmented by twinkling acoustic guitar and backing vocals. On the "Nightmare" side of things Faurholt strums chill inducing strings over a death march beat, his personal emotions are all over this release.

Mixing styles on a track like "Lost" lead to interesting results as the dance beat backing seems to be at odds with the confessional nature of the song, this time the disconnect works. When Faurholt decides to play it straight on the piano based tale of horrific personal loss on "I Had A Friend" or the plea-filled "Dad" the overall result is very effective, proof that if Crystal Shipsss wanted to just record straight ahead tunes the talent is there as well.  

The experimental nature of this release means not everything is going to be super successful, the pseudo rapping of "The Horror Of It All" seems out of place and a misstep, and the dance beats from "Pig" don't seem well placed. Neither stick around to long to detract much from the overall feel or tone of the disk.      

The personal nature of Dirty Dancer pulls the listener along with the singer for Faurholt's self searching journey while the twisted musical offerings keeps the path jagged and engaging. A listener needs to keep their balance when Crystal Shipsss are sailing.  
I am guessing you don't know much about Crystal Shipsss either did we, but if you stay tune to RtBE you may just get some more info (oooh a teaser!).  It is artists like this that make me really love the internet, would never have heard of Jacob Faurholt without sites like bandcamp and this blog.  Keep up the great work Mr. Faurholt.

You can support the artist here, you can buy/stream the album here, and peep a video sample below:

"I Had A Friend"

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