Matrika: An Animated Alphabet


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Matrika: An Animated Alphabet Review

by Tom Schulte

This is a collection of diverse songs on animals, one for each letter of the alphabet. The opening cut, "Aardvark," is the strongest and most musically interesting of the selections. A tense guitar riff runs about a beefy bassline that is interrupted by a keyboard and a book-report interlude on the tube-toothed creature. This was the seed for the project that continues with an artsy, B-52's tribute to bees that features a bevy of female vocals and a kazoo-like solo. "Cow," a weak rap, is one of the thinner portions of this disc. Things pick up again with the faux-Nirvana song about a "Firefly," graced by one of the dulcet-voiced honeybees, Katy Fisch. With a lot of help from his friends, this creation is largely the product of one man, Curtis Settino. He wrote and performed most of the words and music. Catching the listener's ear again, however, on "Iguana," one must agree that although Settino finds his best voice on the guitar, he should probably leave it in its case in lieu of the talented voices from his female collaborators. He still proves very effective on fractured, near-spoken ditties like the weird acoustic song about the biblical John Dory fish. Matrika: An Animated Alphabet is an enjoyable, quirky, and even educational foray into the animal kingdom.

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