Mislead Into a Field by a Deformed Deer

The Internal Tulips

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Mislead Into a Field by a Deformed Deer Review

by Rick Anderson

The fact that this album is on the Planet Mu label might lead you to expect dubstep or avant-garde broken beat or some other dancy form of beatswise craziness. Guess again: there's craziness here, but it's of a decidedly subdued, lo-fi, and sometimes almost depressive nature. You'll hear lots of acoustic instruments and very quiet vocals, but you'll also hear small explosions of glitch, ironically up-front Auto-Tune effects, and Mellotron. The song titles (like the album title) give the impression of in-jokes, which is always a bit off-putting, but the music itself grows on you: the sketchily pretty swatches of vocals and abstract sound on "1/2 Retarded Tuner of Hurricanes," the desultory electro-acoustic waltz of "9 Tomorrows," the nearly ambient abstraction of "Parasol" and "Fixed Confidence" -- these compositions are a bit too weird for background music, but tend to be more baffling than enticing when you pay close attention. Still, the attention you pay them is rewarded: there's a charming Spike Jones quality to the noisier passages on "Bee Calmed," and "Mr. Baby" actually brings in a groove -- clunky and broken-down groove, but a groove nonetheless -- along with nifty harmonies and female vocal samples. And "We Breathe" closes out the program with a startling blast of funky pop, generating a mood that feels like the sun coming up behind a veil of smog. It's an almost Beatlesque finish to an album that almost never sounds like any kind of pop music up until that point.

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