Family Fodder

Savoir Faire: The Best of Family Fodder

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Family Fodder released two extremely obscure but oddly delightful albums in the early '80s, Monkey Banana Kitchen and All Styles. With the blessing of the loose-knit London-based group's leader (and sole constant member), Alig Pearce, the New York indie Dark Beloved Cloud gathered the best of those two discs, plus some singles and previously unreleased tracks, onto the 16-track Savoir Faire: The Best of Family Fodder. Kicking off with the title track, a brilliant organ-based pop song with bilingual verses sung by Dominique Levillain, the album proceeds to try to encapsulate this collective's curiously wide-ranging pursuits (that album wasn't called All Styles for nothing), but ends up sticking mostly to the group's quirky pop songs rather than its dub or musique concrète experiments. Of course, it takes a certain artistic fearlessness to cover Blondie (a weird and ultimately unsuccessful deconstruction of "Sunday Girl" with coy electronically processed vocals and a middle eight sung by a child), Franz Schubert, and Erik Satie (done inna reggae stylee, yet) on the same album.

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