Have Another Pillow

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With Twilight Blueberry took listeners piggyback on what certainly qualifies as the sexiest bicycle ride around downtown New York City ever, but Have Another Pillow is something else entirely. Specifically, the album is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma spun out into a dark but sparkling neomedieval fairy tale. Call it concept funk but with the creamy aphrodisiac center still pumped like sweet filling through its 14 mouth-watering tunes. Or, to put it another way, if Twilight was the playful, early-evening come-on, Have Another Pillow is the full, adults-only bedtime story, complete with motley cast of characters, costumes, props, a plot, and climax -- more than a few of the latter, in fact -- as well as plenty of dancing sugarplums in between. The tale roughly runs according to the following outline: Blueberry is magically transported to La La Land, where, guided by the light of the Phoenix, she begins her ascension to Queen, happens upon the Fool and the Demigod of the Tune, and ultimately finds her way to the Chosen Land, where the spirit can soar free from earthly obstacles. As is almost inevitable with such ambitious song cycles, the narrative -- parts of which are fleshed out via the videos included on an accompanying DVD disc and through an illustrated storybook available from the Blueberry website -- occasionally breaks down at certain points along the journey. The music, on the other hand, never does. The songs correspond in a sense to theatrical scenes, but each stands quite nicely on its own, irregardless of story line. And, unsurprisingly, together they form a collection of awesome, irresistibly cocksure, glitter-lit grooves, from the heavy-lidded coo "Miss Understood," with a trumpet-led break so deep it draws water, and steamier funk workouts like "Idol Hands" and "Flaming Tendrils" to the smoldering boho soul of "Honey Bee," "Tears," and "Elevate Her" and a couple compellingly unorthodox turns in the shadowy, orchestrated, and free-form "Off With My Head" and "Brother Love" and the ghostly baby-grand pieces "White Flag Lullaby" and "Return." Have Another Pillow, a pure enchantment, is the perfect way to melt away an afternoon. Or to dream away the night.

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