You and Yer Good Ideas

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If Beck were a decade or so younger and had grown up more heavily immersed in hip-hop, his debut album likely would have sounded much like Astronautalis' You and Yer Good Ideas. Although his delivery tends to be slightly marble-mouthed, Astronautalis is definitely a rapper who sings the occasional chorus, as opposed to a singer who dabbles in rap. The settings on You and Yer Good Ideas, however, are uniformly lo-fi indie rock: acoustic guitars, wheezing harmoniums, weedy little vintage rhythm boxes, and tape hiss so prominent that it counts as an instrument are the basis of most of these songs. The songs themselves are as mellow as Teenage Fanclub and Modest Mouse getting together to jam on their favorite Neil Young songs, rarely raising much beyond a stoned mid-tempo wander. The combination perhaps doesn't seem like it should work, but most of You and Yer Good Ideas is entertaining in a low-key, lackadaisical way. Particular highlight: the shaggy dog tale "Somethin' for the Kids."

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