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Ape School Ape School

"I thought I knew what I was doing/So I did what I did/Forgive my children," Ape Schoolmaster Michael Johnson croons on the bleary-eyed number, "Did What I Did." It's quite entertaining to hear him not know what exactly he's doing on his debut indie-pop album—the bass on "In Time You Are" is cranked down low enough to slug his vocals to death. But once our boy stops trying to be a marketable eccentric, he delivers some fine moments, namely the T. Rex-goes-Eno groove of "Deathstomp" and the grandiose orchestrations of "No Shame." What robs the album of its grace is Johnson's habit of reducing his Floridian drawl into a slackjawed mumble that gets lost in sloppy mixing. That's unforgivable, my child.

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