Bran Van 3000
The Garden


3.5
great

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
January 7th, 2011 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A pop quiz about showbiz on flying saucers.

Montreal electronica collective Bran Van 3000 have never been one to take their musical progression lightly; three years wiser from 2007's Rose, the group's latest release has them stick to one mantra and one mantra only: that more is always merrier. Having been infected with a devotion that would shame even the purest of monks, The Garden sees BV3K deciding to call on no fewer than nineteen fellow recording artists, in a vainglorious - yet ultimately successful - attempt to stuff them all into 61 minutes of music. The concept is altogether electrochemical, dense, and flavorsome, with the final cocktail best thought of as an adventurous melting pot of rock and dirty groove; a delectable smorgasbord of delights that never once fails to thrill or entice.

First single "Grace (Love On The Block)" is a stunner, bursting out of the gate in a suffusion of grandeur which effortlessly recalls the strobe lights of a prog-disco fantasy; the latter half of the album follows a similar modicum of success, with tracks like "La Dolce Vita" and "World Party" being perpetually stubborn in their desire to make the night's party last until the first cockerel puts paid to their work. Other moments on the record are more subtle however; consider the breathtaking vistas of the Hochelaga, which suddenly find themselves side-by-side with cascading waters once more on "Journey"; or delve into the heart-wrenching sorrow of "Stillness", whose obtuse placement next to "Saltwater Cats" makes for some interesting beat juxtaposition. Ultimately, no matter the form of spirituality that one identifies with, this album is guaranteed to stir even the bare semblance of a soul - for herein lies the definition of synergy. And it is deliciously tantalizing.

In the words of the band members themselves: c'est comme la dangereuse attraction des amoureux de la chanson!



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

BAM!!

(This review may also be found at http://snuffleupagush.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/bv3k/).

Comments and constructive criticism would be much appreciated.

And Sputnik might also want to look into this.

Gyromania
January 7th 2011


15941 Comments


Excellent work, Irving. I'll have to look into this.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

cvlts
January 7th 2011


8967 Comments


cute little review you got there.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Gyro: Thanks man; and yes, do check this out. Do you like BV3K at all bro?

@ This Life: Yeah, it's a bit on the short and sweet side. There are two main reasons for this: i.) I wanted to try the delivery of a shorter piece, having been intrigued by Kirgasm's uber-short take on Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise, and ii.) there was no way I was going to describe and evaluate the contributions of over 20 different people, who appear in varying lengths of time, and in changing forms of music LOL.

Let me know if this particular format works though. If it doesn't, I'll have to stay away from writing like this, I guess! XD

Gyromania
January 7th 2011


15941 Comments


Your reasoning for making this review short is somewhat similar to why I made my review of Tryshasla short - I wanted to try and convey a lot without having to say that much. I'm actually thinking about reviewing something today before I head over the US. Maybe around 200 words or so. Regardless, this style suits you, but I mean, everything you've written thus far has been great.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You should totally do it Gyro; us Sputnikers over here have been starved of Gyro content for too long! That being said, why are you going to the States? (out of curiosity)

And thanks very much for the criticism + comments - twas greatly appreciated =)

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7421 Comments


Great, concise write-up. I'm not into electronica so I don't know if I'll check this out.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Gyromania
January 7th 2011


15941 Comments


Thanks man =] I mean, it won't be up to my standards (can a review that short ever be?) but just something to get me back in the swing of things. I know that might sound ridiculous, but taking a three week break from writing really does make it difficult to come back to.

I'm heading over to the states to hang out with Dan (fireaboveicebelow); I bought a 1TB external HD yesterday so that he can transfer all of his music and movies onto it so I'll be preoccupied for months to come. I'm getting something like 30, 000 songs (guesstimate). Definitely not looking forward to dealing with the border patrol though.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ greg84: Thanks man! And that's fair; that being said, do sample this: http://info.audiogram.com/bv3-grace/

Give it a shot =)

@ Gyro: I totally understand being "out of it". Reviewing's like sex - it has to be done frequently or else you become no good at it. Okay that didn't make sense at all LOL XD

But yeah, write! =)

That trip to the States sounds amazing; and yeah their Homeland Security sucks. If you want to see a fun time you should cross the border with me - my red Malaysian passport brings out their scanners like no other; then after all ten of my prints have been taken, I get a photo taken of me, and have to sign some documentation. And I have to do this every time I go into the States. Which kinda explains why I've done all my traveling in Canada in recent times lol.

Gyromania
January 7th 2011


15941 Comments


Haha, great analogy ;) I mean, I don't think that I'm that bad off, I enjoyed writing my most recent review. I'm trying to articulate my points better. Can't wait to run that new Decemberists album into the ground.

Lol, oh man that definitely sucks. Where was it in Canada that you currently reside? If you're relatively close we should definitely get together at some point in time and shoot the shit.

Willie
Moderator
January 7th 2011


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm heading over to the states to hang out with Dan (fireaboveicebelow); I bought a 1TB external HD yesterday so that he can transfer all of his music and movies onto it so I'll be preoccupied for months to come
that's funny because he got most of his music from me after his HD crashed. There's some good stuff there ;)

Anyway, I love this band -- especially their debut. I didn't know this was even out. Great review.

Gyromania
January 7th 2011


15941 Comments


"that's funny because he got most of his music from me after his HD crashed. There's some good stuff there ;)"

Yeah, he was telling me about that a little while ago, haha. Anything in particular that I should look out for? Also, your avatar is pretty badass ;D

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 7th 2011


10614 Comments


Awesome little review man. Short, concise, and well written. As always it's a pleasure.



Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

bloc
January 7th 2011


34927 Comments


WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING
DRINKING IN LA
AT 26?

Not the same album, but love this fucking song.

Jethro42
January 7th 2011


12491 Comments


''...which effortlessly recalls the strobe lights of a prog-disco fantasy


Irving, noooooo! How can you dare; Merging both words 'prog and 'disco' is a blasphemy XD. And song is nowhere near of any kind of prog. It's more like a ''funk-disco fantasy''. You got my two cents =]
Ah, et l'attraction des amoureux de la chanson n'est pas si dangereuse =P
Nice short and sweet one, my good man. posd.


pizzamachine
January 7th 2011


12571 Comments


Very attractive review, nice one.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


16455 Comments


So I can see you finally got around to reviewing this; short and sweet just the way I like 'em. Pos'd easily.

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

thebhoy
Emeritus
January 7th 2011


4461 Comments


woah! this band is still around?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yup! And they've been busy, as you can tell by the hour's worth of music that's on here!

And thanks for the comments guys; I don't usually review like this, but I saw Kiran's review of Illinoise from a while back and thought I'd give the style a go. Do let me know how it comes across though (from what I can tell, it appears to be fine).

And to my Jethroquarantedeux, I know I committed a cardinal sin there...but I had to get your attention - you've been ignoring me for too long =p Abusing your beloved prog music genre was the only way I could think of to get you to visit me again! XP

Jethro42
January 7th 2011


12491 Comments


And to my Jethroquarantedeux, I know I committed a cardinal sin there...but I had to get your attention - you've been ignoring me for too long =p Abusing your beloved prog music genre was the only way I could think of to get you to visit me again! XP

HAHAHAHAHA I fell into the trap like a novice. Mais dis-toi bien qu'une fois n'est pas coutume. (*Once is not custom_ if that makes sense)




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