Best-of ’10:: Russian Futurists The Weight’s On The Wheels

 

For many, the appeal of Matthew Adam Hart‘s compositions was just how much he put into the bedroom recording style electro pop/hip hop, hand clap ready bangers that surfaced after months spent up in his lab assem-bl-in. The trademark image fans had was that of a reclusive Hart spending hour after hour tinkering with textures, paying tribute to Kent Hrbek with his grizzly beard and Twins cap, but with the release of “The Weight’s On The Wheels” we find Hart wearing cardigans and wing tips, and more importantly, willing to add polish and sheer mass to his songs. Even on the most casual listen, the results are huge and undeniable.

 

Before fans get concernicus, take solace in the simple fact that somehow nothing and everything has changed. His trademark witty, melancholic lyrics - how can you not get down to a line like, Stomping Tom without the stories - are still the star of the show and the compositions are still meticulous collages (just listen to the sound dart from ear to ear on “Golden Years”). He still manages to balance head nodding beats with fantastic samples, 80′s inspired melodies and choruses that are tailor made for sing-alongs. Hell, he even brought Halifamous Ruth Minnikin back for the sugary sweet duet “One Night, One Kiss”, but this time around the songs explode out of your headphones, chock-o-block full of low-end and hidden textures. For most, the challenge of justifying the studio experience is daunting, but you get the feeling that Hart saw it as the opportunity of a lifetime and was determined not to let it slip through his fingers or compromise his vision.

 

Even though the structures of tracks like “To Be Honest”, “Plates”, and “Walk With a Crutch” (it’s comforting he still wants to add in the sampler like gun/laser sound effects) could easily have been tucked into the cracks and crevasses of Me Myself and Rye, all ten songs are so full bodied that if you served them at a bar they’d be displayed proudly on the top shelf for high rollers. The term wall of sound is overused, but Hart certainly challenged himself to construct songs that need to be turned up loud and digested piece by piece, even though they sound fantastic as a whole. The bass line that that appears out of nowhere and controls your ear - even as Hart sings along with female vocals - on “Register My Firearms? No Way!” - or the thick synth fog of plates just seem so much bigger than anything we’ve heard from Hart in the past and when he lets it all hang out (“Tripping Horses”), you start to wish that this bedroom hero had access to the kind of cash that other producers waste.

 

I’d be remiss to not single out, “100 Shopping Days Til Christmas”. As stores start putting out holiday decorations, Hart might challenge Billy Mack for the Christmas song of the year. Starting with a beat that could have easily been found on an early Fresh Prince / Jazzy Jeff effort, he builds a melodic, head nodder that really lets Hart get a bit more nimble with his delivery. The chorus seems so romantic, but really Hart saves the album’s most infectious moments for one of the saddest songs. It’s early November and the song is already battling rum and eggnogs for my favorite holiday indulgence, but make no mistake, The Weight’s on the Wheels will be around long after the light are taken down.

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MP3:: Russian Futurists - Hoeing Weeds Sewing Seeds
WEB:: http://www.russianfuturists.com/
LABEL:: http://upperclassrecordings.com

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am and is filed under 2010, Canada, Music, Reviews, Ruth Minnikin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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