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Stars Like Fleas The Ken Berns Effect

Documentary master Ken Burns’ style is about clarity and distilling history’s messy progression into coherent, boxed-set-sized miniseries. Stars Like Fleas’ style is organic, untethered, and occasionally gripping (in the way of untouched, unedited personal narratives). Alternately soft and sprawling, The Ken Burns Effect finds the eclectic Brooklyn-based band fusing indie quirkiness with free-jazz tension, texture, and release. “Berbers in Tennis Shoes” is a good example of their style–singer Montgomery Knott pines for someone over an intertwined mess of music–multiple sunny melodies, strained vocals, and occasional spazzy bursts of guitar–that mirrors the emotional contradictions of someone in the throes of love. But, like real life, the album can be a bit heavy on drifting, languid moments.

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