Listen at Your Own Risk
Bands form and create music usually because of one of two major reasons. They are either to let their souls speak through beautifully composed pieces or to make a statement which others can relate to. In the case of bands such as The Fiery Furnaces with their newest album, Rehearsing My Choir, neither reason can be detected.Rehearsing begins with â€šÃ„ÃºThe Garfield El,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a somewhat promising rapid piano piece, until Matt Freidberger kicks in with his droll and cacophonous vocals. Sounding more like someoneâ€šÃ„Ã´s grandfather who would rather regale the listener with stories of the trenches in World War II, the vocals are irritating and grating. Eleanor Freidberger, the backing vocalist, has a straight-toned and pleasant voice, but it is under-used with mundane and overly repetitious melodies.
Though some of the electronic beats are snappy and danceable, as in â€šÃ„ÃºThe Wayward Granddaughter,â€šÃ„Ã¹ they are riddled with annoying sound effects from daily life (such as cell phone-like rings) which squashes the enjoyable aspect. Along with this, the lyrical content is bereft of any sort of meaning. One song, â€šÃ„ÃºA Candymakerâ€šÃ„Ã´s Knife in My Bagâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has lyrics about danishes and pastries. Meanwhile other songs are fraught with snippets of anecdotes that have nothing to do with the rest of the piece. However, they are all linked by church references.
Rehearsing My Choir by The Fiery Furnaces is not an album that comments on the lack of social consciousness. Neither does the album encircle the listener with sublime melodies and talented musicianship. Instead, the band chooses to irritate and confuse. Anyone not already a fan should listen at their own risk.