Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Okay - Huggable Dust: The Smudge Review

The title of Okay's latest album is Huggable Dust, an unsubtle expression of the impermanence of mutual love, or rather, the condition that remains when love endures when that which is loved disappears.

And Marty Anderson bares his heart without hesitation, in the first song, My (mp3):

More than you know
more than I can show
it's my heart
you got

and i start speaking too soon
when I look at the moon-
light on your face

Then, in Only, he gives himself away to what might have been lost. A female voice in the phone introduces the song with "I'm going to give this a shot here. Here we go." And so begins a long-distance duet:

I want you to know that you're my only
I want you to know you're my life
I want you to know you don't got to be lonely
I want you to know it's all right.

And though some days are so long
And though some things turn out wrong
But oh that don't change where I belong, my love,
No, that don't change at all.

At the end of the song, the woman in the duet ends with a simple, devastating "Okay. All right. Bye."

The third song, Tragedy (mp3), establishes isolation, after opening with an ominous march:

This boy
He really wanted this girl
But he didn't have the time.

She said
I want into your world
But he said this world is mine.

These verses repeat throughout the song, with variations, as layers of sound build to an incredible climax.

Anderson uses these devices throughout the album, and the result is a powerful sense of a fortress of sound being built around the listener, voices forcing their way in - in Loveless, he repeats "I can't get you out of my head," as everything else is shut out. As the intimate and spare give way to lush musical atmospheres, Anderson paradoxically contains the mind, keeps it in a box and focuses it on its obsessions and possessions.

And so, in that, these warped lullabys that twist traditional forms of folk, blues, even doo-wop into little black holes that assimilate them with homemade electronic effects into a singularity, are entirely original, inventive, and entirely Marty's own territory, and every single one of these songs is as captivating as a shifting night sky.

Download the electronic version of Huggable Dust

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