Review Summary: With as many surprises as delights, Bitte Orca succeeds on almost all fronts.
If someone were to try to dissect the latest Dirty Projectors' album, Bitte Orca
, into several pieces to find the root source, they would eventually have to give it up. Ranging from ultra-catchy synthesized pop beats to the lyrics "Like an EKG of a dying woman" could prove very risky. However, with the help of the band, Dave Longstreth has managed to create a wonderfully odd, yet enjoyable experience that racks and loves your brain all at once.
What seems to be an invisible thread of a slight story, Bitte Orca
spans over 9 tracks consisting of Longstreth yelling "Bitte orca, orca bitte" to the strumming of guitars and pondering of animal consumption. First listen, it seems like the man has pure, unadulterated ADHD with lots of zest, but remains enjoyable at the same time. With repeated listens though, it unravels and reveals itself to you, although Bitte Orca
keeps a few secrets for itself. The catchy music hooks you in and never lets go, except to loosen its grip on a few chances, with "Fluorescent Half Dome" being a good example. With one relatively sub-par moment, there are many fabulous ones to counter and to make you forget about it. "Two Doves", with Angel Deradoorian's stunning voice and lyrics to accompany, is a standout track, begging to be repeated on your iPod many times over. With its simple, spare guitar, Deradoorian's voice stands out like water in a desert, begging to be lapped up eagerly.
However, simplicity is not the only strong point of the album. Complex tracks like "Useful Chamber" stand out, with many different ideas thrown into one, disconnected but all intuitive to one another. From the pop-like beats to the choir/gospel-esque singing in "Useful Chamber" with Longstreth's yelling "Bitte orca, orca bitte", "Useful Chamber" is by far the most random track, but it doesn't fail to delight.
Longstreth and Co. seem to have set out to create a more unique, avant-garde album, and they have succeeded on many fronts. Being unlike anything released in 2009, or anything in a long time for that matter, it deserves its credit for being incredibly appealing while still being unique. With catchy songs and beat, Bitte Orca
is rightfully a contender for one of the best albums of 2009.