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Things are going well for your band when youre getting name-checked
by David Bowie (and what a terrible name it is!), opening for the-band-that-saved-rock-in-2004,
Songs like Le Garage showcase an affinity for pop jingles,
as the song highlights the layered staccato vocals of Barry Hyde intertwined
with the sharp snare of drummer (and Hydes younger brother)
"Being handsome means never having to say you're sorry,"
or so say the liner notes of Handsome Boy Modeling School's latest,
And just as the pretty people get all the breaks, the talented musicians
get all the hooks. The Modeling School's über instructors, Prince
Paul and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura working under
the pseudonyms Chest Rockwell and Nathaniel Merriweather, respectively
have mined an album's worth in collaboration with some of the
finest musicians in rock and hip hop.
So is it possible that one of the most rock and roll releases of
the year is... a hip-hop album?
While it might be a stretch to make such proclamations, Prince Paul
and the Automator aren't above such hyperbole on booming tracks like
"Rock and Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Part 2."
And like the skittish magic Prince Paul produced on De La Soul's 3
Feet High and Rising and the Automator brought to Kool Keith's Dr.
Octagonecologyst, they sprinkle pixie dust over the soulful delivery
of Cat Power on "I've Been Thinking," as nimbly as they
emphasize the folky groove of Jack Johnson's guitar on "Breakdown."
The unfortunate consequence of making a classic like 3 Feet or Dr. Octagonecologyst is that it has been difficult for De La Soul and Kool Keith to top it; the upside is that these were just the first swings of producers Prince Paul and Dan the Automator's extended hit list. Gillian Titus (Posted 11/19/04)
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