ulu

What's the Deal

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The second album by ulu is a strong collection of fusion jams that genre hops with a fluidity most bands would be very jealous of. When the band is on, it is absolutely smoking. The dueling interplay between multi-instrumentalist Scott Chasolen and saxophonist Aaron Gardner makes "Jitterfried" a compelling listen. The snappy percussion and tight instrumentation of "Mouthlove" spills over with tension as the song bounces all over the place. And "Prince Igor" is the centerpiece of the album, an amazing live jam that travels all over the musical map. It moves from funk to space rock to smooth jazz to psychedelic noodling but, because of its continual shaping and evolving, it turns out to be a fantastic sonic journey that pays off in the end. The only real shame is that most of the best material is at the end of the album, so the first few tracks become fairly forgettable when matched up against the later material. The intense lounge jazz of "Scab" is not bad, but it lacks the energy that the album should have at the beginning, and the same goes for the entertaining but otherwise overlong "XG10." Still, this is a very impressive album from a young band that already has a fairly firm grasp on its sound and style.

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