Reviews:: the Russian Futurists Me, Myself and Rye

Me, Myself and Rye - the 2006 best-of collection from the Russian Futurists is getting another release (finally a release of the record on this side of the pond). The record takes songs from the three previous releases - Let's Get Ready to Crumble, Method of Modern Love and Our Thickness, so for fans of the band, you might think you are getting another rehash of the songs (version 2.0), but he went back and remastered all of the tracks - especially Paul Simon. And for the majority of the music world, this will be the first (and a stellar) introduction to the stylings of Matthew Adam Hart. Hart was already inducted into the Herohill Best Musician to rep Minnesota Twins hats Hall of fame, but it seems that exposure didn't make him a household name.

Hart's style is unique, to say the least. He rocks out on old school Casios, throws in samples and Brian Wilson harmonies, but steps away from the traditional definition of pop and creates high energy tracks without relying on studio magic and unlimited instrumentation. Along with the Cansecos, Hart helped push me towards a more electro friendly life in TO.

The big hook of Precious Metals uses a snappy beat and a great horn sound to set the addictive backdrop for Hart's catchy vocals but it's the lo-fi sounds that really grab you. The tracks are rich in reverb and drum claps, but despite the low budget he maintains solid song structures. As a result, the songs never let up and never seem scattered.

The waves on the "single", Paul Simon, use some great horns and swells and you are hit with a mix of bedroom DJ and, well, Paul Simon. Plus, have you ever heard any other artist use a gravatron sample on a record (like he does on the end of Let's Get Ready To Crumble)? For those unfamiliar with Hart's work, Me, Myself and Rye hits you with 13 tracks laced in 80's keyboards and dance floor ready drums. Jams like the It's Not Really Cold When It Snows will be immediate favorites (especially when he starts adding strings, keys and sonic textures with his computer altered harmonies), but to be realistic, if you like one of these tracks, you will like them all.

His playful lyrics match perfectly with the bouncy tones of The Science Of The Seasons and I'm not sure I can think of a better description for his music. He seamlessly combines technology with the overwhelming optimism of life despite the constant setbacks and disappointment we all face. His computer backed sounds never falter, completing their task to make you move, even as Hart's characters pine and wallow in lives that never seem to work out like they should.

The end result is a nice peek into his catalog and a non-stop, depression fueled dance party. I'm not sure there is anyone alive who's hasn't had one too many drinks and stumbled across the words they desperately wanted to say. When he mutters "The way bourbon disturbs the words I’m wording, it’s a drink, it’s a sip, it’s the iceberg’s tip" on I'm Hurting for Certain, you relate to his pain, but the melody actually makes you feel better. Isn't that what pop songs are supposed to do?
MP3:: Paul Simon
MP3:: Paul Simon(lo-fi-fnk)
web site :: myspace

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