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Dandy Warhols: ...Earth to the Dandy Warhols

Dandy Warhols: ...Earth to the Dandy Warhols

Label:World's Fair
Release Date:2008

By Michaelangelo Matos | Posted 9/10/2008

The Dandy Warhols have never been anywhere near as bad as their detractors think they are. The problem is, they've never been anywhere near as good as the Dandy Warhols think they are, either. They're the kind of band that doesn't merely invite faint praise but practically begs for it. Most of their albums are generally good for a nifty single or two--the days of "or more" are far behind them by now--and . . . Earth to the Dandy Warhols may deserve even more credit than that. But--and here's the rub--not that much more.

As always, the Dandy Warhols construct readymade versions of mid-'90s Britpop and its obvious antecedents, from the spacey guitar effects of "Talk Radio"--which, in a happy coincidence, is as much of a snooze as the medium it's named for--to the lazily drawled vocals of the band's mastermind, who calls himself Courtney Taylor-Taylor, to the rhythm section's seldom-varying midtempo plod. The idea, of course, is to project a persona that's above it all and uber-cool, with the band's intricate studio craft belying it in a good way. More often, the band comes across as impossibly smug--especially the leader--and the sonic layering is much ado about nothing. Every so often, they hit their target head-on, as with "Wasp in the Lotus," which combines a slow-dragging groove with Space Invaders noises to decent effect. But you know they're trying too hard when they give these middling songs titles like "Now You Love Me." Not quite, dude.

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