The Robot Ate Me starts off “Carousel Waltz” in a way that channels either Paul Simon or The Polyphonic Spree. This means that The Robot Ate Me creates a music that plays on the styles of the sixties while still being bleeding edge, with the inclusion of influences as wide as Death Cab For Cutie and Fischerspooner. The disc may be a year old but the music contained inside has not aged in the slightest. The use of multiple vocals during the opening track “Bad Feelings” brings listeners into the mythos of The Robot Ate Me and does not let them go.
“Where Love Goes” is another track that continues the thread of sixties blended with current music; while a number of bands have done this exact style (most notably, The Boy Least Likely To), The Robot Ate Me approaches the disc differently. There is a delicate balance on both band’s discs that has the former staying more in the sixties style while the latter is more current-focused. “Where Love Goes” has a very interesting interlude that is little more than drums and choral vocals; while this seems influenced by Radiohead, the application of this style is leagues away from anything Thom and the kids from the band committed to disc. “Regret” has an acoustic, almost-Dave Matthews style, but the tenuous, slender vocals that ultimately issue forth from the band recall something closer to Pete Seeger or early Rufus Wainwright. The Robot Ate Me is one of the least likely radio stars, but they prove to listeners that they can create songs that individuals will be singing along with for months to come. This is most evident during tracks like “All Good Things”, but each track on “Carousel Waltz” has something to bring listeners in to The Robot Ate Me’s world.
While the vocal style does not change much on the disc, the material in which it is couched in changes completely between tracks. “Tonight” is another track that is a perfect single for the band. For example, there is a bass line that feels as if it should be on Jimmy Fallon’s “Idiot Boyfriend”, but the vocals and arrangement of the rest of the track has a sound not quite unlike that of Polaris (from all the way back in the 1992-1993 era). This is an older The Robot Ate Me album, so find this, listen to it, and pick up the next album by the end.
Top Tracks: Bad Feelings, Come Together
The Robot Ate Me – Carousel Waltz / 2005 5 Rue Christine / 11 Tracks / http://www.therobotateme.com / http://www.5rc.com / Reviewed 16 September 2006