Beyond the Cage

Pupkulies & Rebecca

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Beyond the Cage Review

by Ned Raggett

Pupkulies & Rebecca's second full album together follows nicely in the vein of the first, a pleasantly understated version of current pop trends that reacts to the state of the art rather than trying to ignore it -- no small thing in an era of groups endlessly looking backward rather than around them. A song like "Some Gin" is the closest that the album gets to wanting to aim for the mainstream airwaves in a "this is now and this is robo-pop" sense -- it's not Kylie or Britney or Róisín Murphy, say, but the tension between multi-tracked vocals and a calm, almost hollow heart in the arrangement helps drive the overall song. Other songs that push forward rather than hold back include "Les Cages," with one of the best basslines on the disc, propulsive in the best way, while "Trust Me" aims not only for some classic slink but the full-on rocking of a cowbell, and why not? Elsewhere, restraint leads the way, a more subtly captivating minimalism -- "Pepper" is a prime example, beats clicking in the background, Rebecca Gropp's controlled vocal sass, the appearance of the bass just so, while the opening "Windmills" helps get the album going with a sweet little kick, echoed by "Mondgeflüster" at its conclusion, wrapping up Beyond the Cage on a high note.

blue highlight denotes track pick