Take Me Home
Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By is far and away one of the best albums of 2001. It is a seductive, sensual, romantic yet slightly humorous journey dedicated to gettin’ your groove on. Lovage is a side project concocted by Dan the Automator (a.k.a. Nathaniel Merriweather) focused on crafting songs about lovemaking. Dan the Autmator serves as ringleader over an impressive array of collaborators. The album features guest spots from such notable artists as Blurâ€šÃ„Ã´s Damon Alburn, De La Soulâ€šÃ„Ã´s Maseo and Afrika Bambaataa, each of which does a short spoken word ranging from interesting (Maseo) to downright hilarious (Afrika Bambaataa). However the real kindling on the amorous fireplace that is Lovage is the vocal stylings of Mike Patton and Jennifer Charles, and the turntabling of Kid Koala. Patton and Charles weave a breathtaking tapestry of alluring melodies, dueting on most tracks while Kid Koala spins dreamy instrumentals interludes on the remainder.The Automator has chosen his companions well. Jennifer Charles is a fairly underground artist working primarily with her band Elysian Fields and doing backup vocals with Live. Mike Patton, on the other hand, has to be in line to usurp James Brownâ€šÃ„Ã´s title of hardest working man in show business as after he left Faith No More he has collaborated with everyone from Masami Akita to Chino Moreno, while touring and recording with his bands Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk and Fantomas. Dan the Automator has been on fire recently scoring huge with critics and fans on his projects Deltron 3030 with Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Handsome Boy Modeling School with Prince Paul and most notably Gorillaz with Damon Alburn, but Patton gives his strongest performance of almost any musical project heâ€šÃ„Ã´s done over the last 3 years, which incidently, has been riddled with strong performances. Particularly tantalizing are his astounding vocals shifts on â€šÃ„ÃºAnger Managementâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and effortless interplay with Charles on â€šÃ„ÃºBook of the Month.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Furthermore, Jennifer Charles is on this album what artists such as Fiona Apple should be: articulate, breathtaking and in control.
Dan the Automator further positions himself as one of hip hopâˆšâ‰ s most promising visionaries with this effort. Somewhere between the slow jams of Becks Midnite Vultures, the experimental noise of Radioheads Kid A and the masterwork production of DJ Shadows Entroducing, Lovage should be anything but a sideproject. There is a playfulness abound here that is lacking on most love crazed endeavors. Dan brings not only his exceeding talents of production but a sly sense of humor too. Swallowing Lovage as a musical work is all the more yummy because of this. Typically, love songs come off as contrived or overdone, but this albumâˆšâ‰ s pacing is almost perfect. Not too serious and not too silly, simmering just right on Love. If Lovage has a downfall at all, it is that it is only scheduled as a side project. In the humble words of Mike Patton, “Why must God punish me this way?”