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Music Reviews

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Castle Talk
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Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
William of Orange

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I am the American consumer - I demand that you give me what I want, when I want it, because I want it. If you wish to be my supplier of listening pleasure, then you must be able to meet my demands - so say the laws of economics, which are infallible. Are you up to the challenge, new EP by The Caribbean, William of Orange?

First, I demand that you put time and thought into every aspect of your project. If you don't seem to care, then why should I? Fine choices in artwork and packaging prove this dedication to your work. You made a great choice, using digi-pack instead of a jewel case. That's a fine beginning in the quest to give me what I want. Also, the interior is really quite odd, and therefore wonderful - it looks like tax forms! The band web site is a corporate-website parody, and this fits that theme splendidly.

But I do not buy my EPs for interesting packaging and clever web sites alone. I want to know about the real product: the songs, the music. I demand an interesting sound, and given this is an EP, each track must be compelling in its own right. Since there are only five songs, the presence of quality has to overcome the relative lack of quantity.

Here, again, you've come through with flying colors. Each song on is indeed compelling and interesting. The band writes what would seem at first to be straight-ahead pop songs, but what strikes soon enough are unpredictable time signatures, the subtle use of samples and electronic manipulation, and clever and evocative lyrics. These are no ordinary, lazily written ditties - each song is a complex work of art.

William of Orange will remind one a bit of The Postal Service in terms of singing style and electronic influence. However, the lyrical content here is nothing at all like Ben Gibbard's sometimes cringe-worthy subjects-of-the-heart.

For example, in "Who's Hollywood Now?" the phrase that more or less serves as the chorus goes "We've thrown a team together: Lawyers, two accountants and me who sort of more or less freelances." This is typical of the lyrics here - somewhat abstract, with not a lot of obvious rhyme schemes, but still able to allow the listener to paint a vivid mental picture.

William of Orange has met my demands; it is a fully realized EP with five high-quality songs that beg to be listened to repeatedly. The Caribbean has done a masterful job as a music supplier - they met the initial demand of the music consumer, but also created future demand. Because after hearing this EP, I am certainly going to demand to hear whatever it is they release next.

Reviewed by Dan Filowitz
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.

See other reviews by Dan Filowitz



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