Prinzhorn Dance School

Home Economics

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It didn't seem possible for Prinzhorn Dance School to make their music any more streamlined than it was on Clay Class. Nevertheless, the duo does just that on Home Economics, an album that lives up to its name in more ways than one. Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn used portable equipment that allowed them to record whenever inspiration struck, often in their own houses. And at just six songs long, this set is nothing if not economical. Where their first album offered a multitude of stark and volatile miniatures, here Prinz and Horn channel their energy into only what is musically and emotionally important. "Haggle" stretches out the duo's once-jittery guitar and bass without sacrificing any their tartness; "Reign"'s melody traces a curving line instead of bursting in dots and dashes as the pair sings "Do you feel lonely/Do you feel blue?" As Prinzhorn Dance School boil their music down to its essence, they also build on it, making room for bigger statements and emotions. They started this trend on Clay Class, and one of that album's finest songs, "I Want You," feels like the template for Home Economics' emotional explorations. Prinz and Horn could only be happy in bits on their previous album, but "Clean" is downright optimistic, echoing LCD Soundsystem's moments of big-picture clarity with its chiming guitars and insistent beat. And while comparing love to war is nothing new, on "Battlefield" they find their own poetic way of expressing detente: "Look at me, predator/Our lives are entwined." Prinzhorn Dance School also entwine hope and sadness throughout Home Economics, whether on the matter-of-fact "Education" or the gorgeous finale "Let Me Go," which captures the pain an ailing relationship ("In my arms/I know you feel alone") simply and perfectly. This may be Prinz and Horn's most minimalist music yet, but it's also some of their most rewarding.

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