Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Whitest Boy Alive--Dreams (2006)
Artist-Whitest Boy Alive
Review-Erlend Øye and Marcin Oz are both Berlin-based DJs, although Øye is actually Norwegian born. Øye sounds a little like Stuart Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian, but with a stripped down band. In a world where every band has at least two guitars, it’s kind of refreshing that there’s only one guitarist (Øye) in The Whitest Boy Alive—plus an often-featured bassist (Oz). The bass gives Dreams its funk, fleshed out by a driving drumbeat (Sebastian Maschat) and occasional synths (Daniel Nentwig).
Most of the time, Øye doesn’t so much sing as read the lyrics poetically (those lyrics come off as a little passive-aggressive at times). You may not feel inspired to dance so much as just shuffle your feet and bop your head, but Dreams definitely grooves.
The most you hear out of Nentwig is on “Don’t Give Up,” which—like the whole album—is the kind of thing you want playing in the background when you’re sitting down to really think about life. Some vocals on the track sound foreign, but when it reaches its final crescendo—rising higher and higher—Øye tells us “Don’t give up, don’t give up,” and leaves us feeling like we can accomplish the best.