Body Language, 'Social Studies' (Lavish Habits/Om)

Social Studies
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Label: Lavish Habits/Om

by Barry Walters

Obviously inspired by fellow Brooklynites Dirty Projectors, this multiracial quartet cuts down on the art rock, gets busier with the R&B, and floats twinkling glockenspiel and twee boy/girl harmonies over bin-rattling booty bottom. They fill in the frequencies with glossy synth boogie, African percussion frenzies, and dub reverb up the wazoo. All that goo both bolsters and subverts their pop instincts; the synthetic slap bass on "Falling Out" feels so nasty because it rubs up against a vocal refrain that comes on like an over-friendly canine hell-bent on making sweet love to your knee.

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