David Longstreth abandons any and every sound that made his band interesting, leaving us
with an album devoid of experimentation and without a single drop of uniqueness.
Additionally a few good tracks and a shitload of annoying drum machines and hand claps. Stop
with the hand claps. Please. tl;dr the pop structures of Bitte Orca without the
experimentation built around those structures.
Underneath all of the left-field weirdness of past Dirty Projectors records, there was
always a very strong sense of structural unity and cohesiveness. It implied that David
Longstreth was, first and foremost, a gifted and consistent songwriter. Swing Lo Magellan is
essentially what's underneath all of that left-field weirdness. A collection of
straightforward pop and folk tunes that illustrate Longstreth's proficiency as a songwriter
and his ear for infectious melody and harmony. The result is far more wonderful than the sum
of its parts. More unassuming than their back-catalog, but simultaneously stronger and more
listenable than all of them combined, and one of the best albums of 2012 so far.