Little bit of everything for everyone
After the 2017 release of their self-titled album, frontman and songwriter of Dirty Projectors, David Longstreth, is picking up where his broken heart left off. This time around though, instead of bittersweet breakup songs, Lamp Lit Prose takes a view of being an artist in America in 2018. The division between artistic bliss and political dread force Longstreth to visit parts of his mind he hasn’t shared with his fans before.
This is the eighth studio album for the band who have cycled through 27 different members since their start in 2002, and they’re clearing their hypothetical slate clean to offer their most influential album yet. The album starts off with an explosion of prime indie-pop tracks like “Right Now” and “Break-Thru,” both of which seem to mirror a bit of Vampire Weekend. Whereas “I Feel Energy,” a very ’80s ode to Michael Jackson, and “Zombie Conqueror,” which doesn’t seem to fit the bill at all with its heavy punk-rock guitar, both seem like tracks that slipped through the cracks.
“You’re the One” brings back old memories of love songs for Longstreth through his beautiful harmonizing, “That’s a Lifestyle” dives into the corrupt world of politics and consumerist culture with help from backing vocals from the Haim sisters, and Longstreth’s hopefulness for the future is heard through lyrics and guitar riffs in “Right Now.”
Although the 36-year-old might still be creating lyrics that could be straight out of his past albums, Longstreth has shown his maturity through his changing atmosphere and how comfortable he has become over time. The album takes twists and turns through basic rock, indie pop, R&B influence and a little punk-rock. To be prose is to be spoken in an ordinary form and maybe that’s exactly what Dirty Projectors wanted–to create an album as true to them as possible. Lamp Lit Prose is an album with no real direction or destination but it’s full of wit, charm and musical creativity. There is a song for everyone on this ten-track album and something around every musical chorus to discover.