Matthew Friedberger – Winter Women / Holy Ghost Language School (CD)

Very few artists try to do the double album in one package deal. The obvious comparison I can make is Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, but there is little in the way of rock musicians that have tried to do the same thing that are coming to mind right now. Matthew Friedberger is the indie wunderkind that is behind acts like The Fiery Furnaces, so one should expect that this album should be interesting, to say the least. But will it be interesting in a good way or will it be yet another weird album from an artist that believes that ey is god?

While there are not many in the way of double albums that I can compare “Winter Women” and “Holy Ghost Language School” to, I would have to say that the compositions that Friedberger places to disc here are comparable to a blend of The Go Team! and Adam Green. Thus, there are some weird beeps and boops present in what is a very classic brand of rock style. Like Green, Friedberger focuses on the sixties and seventies, while putting together some of the same electronic styles that really fueled The Go Team! during their last album. The easiest way to categorize Friedberger’s style then would have to be a radio picking up two different stations, with a classic rock station dominant but with an electronic station kicking in at interesting times. “Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company Resignation Letter” is a track that uses the same bouncy sound present in many a Beatles-era band, while throwing in guitar world that would seem to be more of a Neil Yong’s forte than anything. The electronic sounds during this track are pulled out of the video games of the eighties, as well as Plastikman albums of the early nineties.

Considering this double-disc is competitively priced at a cost that is near or just slightly higher than single CDs, why not pick up “Winter Women” and “Holy Ghost Language School”. The two discs are sufficiently different to allow for individuals to stick around for over two hours, but are similar enough to show that Friedberger penned and constructed the framework for these tracks during the same period. While there can be comparisons drawn between this and the two Bright Eyes albums cuts late last year, individuals should come into the Friedberger album with an open mind and hear exactly how ey is trying to come up with an interesting expansion of the double-album style.

Top Tracks: Up The River, Azusa St.

Rating: 6.5/10

Matthew Friedberger – Winter Women / Holy Ghost Language School / 2006 859 / 29 Tracks / http://www.859recordings.com / Reviewed 16 August 2006

[JMcQ]

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