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JONATHAN RADO

LAW AND ORDER

WOODSIST


Format: LP
Cata No: WOODSIST070
Barcode: 655035047010
Format: CD
Cata No: WOODSIST070CD
Barcode: 655035047027
Jonathan Rado is a songwriter, a staid performer, an evangelical producer;
the 23-year-old California native’s solo project, fashioned on brief sabbatical
from his main project, Foxygen, is a deliciously self-conscious piece
of esoteric apocrypha. Like character games, or symphonies of nonsense
imitation-language, his records are cathartic, designed only to liberate the
body and break the awkwardness of obsessive, existential silence. Alone in a
bedroom, the holy land where he’s been experimenting with recording since
junior high, Rado laughs nervously and eats his fingernails, awestruck by
the sublimity of the aural world. The smallness of his own anemic voice
confounds the babe agape, and only by adopting the task of genre does he
transcend his own limitations to stand comfortably at the precipice of sound.
On his debut solo album Law and Order, the San Fernando Valley and the
Lower East Side flirt over muddy coffee, get married over corned beef, and
give birth to a Motown drum beat—but something is amiss. For example,
there is no bass line on LA-psychedelic-dance-jam “Seven Horses,” and not
a single hand clap satisfies the droning singer’s gently repetitive request, “If
you feel it all, clap your hands.” “Hand in Mine” sounds like an idea Johnny
Cash had while sleepwalking through a fever dream.
The zonked-out guitarist settles back to warm Christmas sleep but dreams
only of synthesizers. “Looking 4a Girl Like U” is an opium den, and there
in the running shower Prince stands, sultry. He kaleidoscopically unbuttons
his soaked, sequined shirt for six consecutive minutes, screaming “baaaaaby”
and ego-dancing. On “I Wood,” a folk spasm of paranoid schizophrenia,
Rado’s Bob Dylan vowels pile so heavily upon a White Fence-minor progression
that Tim Presley actually materializes on “Faces” to turn off the water
and steamy distortion. “All the Lights Went Out in Georgia” is a self-loathing
diary entry thrown into a fire, and “Pot of Gold” gets too drunk, freaks out
and starts hitting on everybody. So Rado wraps up the album and apologizes
to everyone, promising not to invite that guy over anymore.
Crafted by a serious conductor of gracelessness and good-humored imperfection,
this album champions simplicity, catchiness and cranberry-plush
playfulness, without ever maliciously satirizing the material of inspiration.
Rado enters familiar musical forms with the most appreciative irreverence
and, stretching out on a big burlesque bed, he bends brass platitude until it
sounds Rado-y and golden. —Jaclyn Cohen
• Debut solo album from Foxygen member
• Guest appearance by White Fence’s Tim
Presley
• Vinyl includes digital download card

Tracks:

1. Seven Horses
2. Hand in Mine
3. Looking 4a Girl Like U
4. Dance Away Your Ego
5. I Wood
6. Faces
7. Oh, Suzanna!
8. All the Lights Went Out in Georgia
9. I Wanna Feel It Now!!!
10. Would You Always Be at Home
11. Law and Order
12. Pot of Gold

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