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Dirty Projectors Rise Above

The concept of Rise Above is too good to be true. Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth (the only permanent Projector) goes back to his childhood home to clean out his old bedroom, and finds the empty cassette case for Black Flag's seminal, pissed-the-fuck-off Damaged. True to his quirk, Longstreth doesn't hunt for the tape and, instead, recreates it from memory. He doesn't morph into Henry Rollins-or anything close, actually. Rise Above simply sounds like Dirty Projectors. Longstreth, backed here by a female shadow choir, couldn't drop his smooth, hyperactive note-chasing any more than Morrissey could. There's a few punches scattered throughout: aggressive electric guitar (amidst acoustic quick-picking), thick drum pounds, and, yes, choice lyrics stand out ("Depression's gonna kill me," "This fucking city is run by pigs"). Clever conceit, but, at its root, this is just another marvelous DP album.

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