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Kimya Dawson – Remember That I Love you

13 Jan 2008 · No Comments

We interrupt the continuing coverage of the Blue Öyster Cult catalog to bring you a late addition to the 2006 year’s best list…

On January 1st, 2008 I finally finished my “not quite the best of 2006″ mixes. Yes, six. The most recent addition to make the list was The Electric Kisses, a perfect fusion of Dirt Bike Annie and The Kiss Offs, who I discovered in December 2007. The month isn’t even over, but if I made the mixes now I’d have to find a way to cram in “The Competition” from Remember That I Love You.

I can’t claim to be cool with respect to anti-folkie Kimya Dawson. I’ve had a vague sense for years that I should probably listen to her old band The Moldy Peaches, and I had a copy of Hidden Vagenda already, but it was the movie Juno that set me off on a Dawson mega-binge.

Dawson’s music is featured throughout the film, which makes perfect sense: she writes and plays exactly the music you’d expect Juno’s character to write and play. It’s usually (but not always) smart and sarcastic, and it’s longer on heart than on technical chops.

I worked my way through Dawson’s catalog in more-or-less chronological order, and I convinced myself that smidges of puerile humor and deliberatley ragged performances were an essential part of her formula — that they provided a counterpoint without which Dawson’s confessional lyrics might seem a bit too intense. Maybe they also helped to distract the picky listener from Dawson’s limited stylistic and vocal range, too.

But Remember That I Love You downplays the scatological humor considerably, and ups the competence quotient considerably. It’s not high fidelity and it doesn’t evince finicky perfectionism or anything — the harmonies on “Loose Lips” are as loose and one-take as anything else on her albums. But crucially, none of the songs sound made-up-on-the-spot, and there aren’t any how-deep-is-your-fandom endurance tests like the latter half of I’m Sorry That Sometimes I’m Mean’s “Sleep.” (I wonder if any wag reviewed that record with the phrase “…to the listener”?) A shade less spontaneity and comic relief certainly makes for Dawson’s consistent release; thanks to songs like “I Like Giants,” “12/26,” and the aforementioned “The Competition,” it’s also probably her strongest.

Tags: 2006 · K · anti-folk · d

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