Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beth Ditto - EP - Review

I know, I know...Beth Ditto's EP was released earlier this year and why would a review of her four songs be posted so late in the year?! Well, this all begins from a special day in April; April 16th to be exact. I don't know if this specific day rings any bells in the gray matter, but it was the official Record Store Day for 2011! Yup, and yours truly made the trip to the local record store and gazed, and drooled, and fawned over the goodies presented for that special day. But, my budget was limited and I so desperately wanted many things, and my eyes laid upon the vinyl limited edition Flaming Lips Heady Nuggs 5LP set. Oooooh I wanted those records soooo badly! Like I mentioned before, I had a limited budget, and the 110 clams the records store was asking for made my eyes searching for something more affordable. That is when I saw Beth Ditto's EP in vinyl, it was very affordable, and I was very curious to hear the four songs, and I knew I had to purchase it. But, I had a huge problem...my record player was in the crawl space under my home gathering dust because my receiver is being used on the television, xbox, ipod and etc. and I knew I wasn't going to be listening to this record soon if I bought it. I was too lazy to grab the phonograph and laboriously hook up the connections and find a spot for the ground wire, and blah, blah, blah. I was just exhausted thinking about it in the record store.

Of course, I bought Beth Ditto's record and took to my home and set it with some other music stuff I planned on listening to in some distant future. Then in August, out of the blue my wife's uncle asked me if I wanted his big Pioneer stereo and all of his vinyl records. This stereo has two large three foot tall speakers, a five disc changer, dual tape deck, and a record player! I accepted the offer, and when the boxes came to the house I rearranged some things set up this glorious, free stereo and put on the Beth Ditto EP.

At first listen the first track, I Wrote The Book, transported me to the late eighties to early nineties era instantly. The Simian Mobile Disco produced beats are clean and catchy with synthesizer elements and it all complimented Beth Ditto's voice fairly well. But, I was disappointed because I wanted to hear the bluesy, snarly, passionate voice she is known for in the first track. I moved to the second track, Good Night Good Morning, and again a little disappointed. The track was good, but slower in tempo than the first, but I think I was hoping for something like how she sang Your Mangled Heart in Standing In The Way of Control, or Heavy Cross in Music For Men. So, I flipped over the record and listened to Open Heart Surgery, and a very sexy beat is pumping through my speakers and Beth sings to me like a snake charmer and my body starts to groove along. Then there it was, in the middle of the song my ears caught a glimpse of the snarl and strength in her singing that I was looking for. It was just a little bit, though, and I wanted more. I was hoping the final track, Do You Need Someone, would be the one to hit the mark for me, but it didn't quite get there either for me. It closed the EP well, but it seemed a little borrowed.

The stand out tracks to me are I Wrote The Book and Open Heart Surgery. The EP did transport me to a time in my youth and it successfully moved my body into a groove. I wish to hear more in this direction, but I hope her voice doesn't get lost in the fantastic and glossy beats as it kind of did in this EP. I feel that the direction of electronic pop was a risk for Beth Ditto, but a good risk.

This EP warmed up to me, and it made me, my wife and two year old daughter dance - 3.5/5

Open Heart Surgery by Beth Ditto

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