Sam Prekop

Who's Your New Professor

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Sam Prekop's sophomore solo album coasts sweetly along through the expected layers of treated guitar harmonics, snappy drums, and crisp production, all enhancing the sunny Sunday-mellow groove. The difference from its precursor comes with close listening, wherein one can discern the many elaborate touches of producer John McEntire (Tortoise). The bossa nova elements of Prekop's self-titled debut are gone, replaced by free-floating lyrics--sung in the Sea & Cake leader's soothing half-falsetto--and the sound of math-rock solving itself and arriving back at simple square one.

Most tracks merge into one another along a stream of consciousness, punctuated by oases of jazz piano and trumpet ("Neighbor to Neighbor"), electronic warbling ("Something"), and Curtis Mayfield-esque wah-wah guitar ("Density"). These songs, however, are more than just a series of pleasant, dreamy tracks; they function as a book of deeply abstract poems, the post-rock meaning of which may never be discerned. By the time "C + F" comes long, with its propulsive handclap rhythm and midway horn break, it should be apparent how hard Prekop works to make his painstakingly crafted compositions sound beautiful and breezy

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