The Dirty Projectors, 'Rise Above' (Dead Oceans)

Rise Above
Critical Mass
Label: Dead Oceans

by Michael Azerrad

In a singular act of reinvention (and cojones), main Projector Dave Longstreth rewrites Black Flag's historic 1981 punk blast Damaged, keeping only the lyrics. With glinting, Afropop-derived guitar, Longstreth's hyper-elastic crooning, and brainy/dreamy female harmonies that conjure the B-52's at a revival meeting, this trailblazing music exposes stunning new dimensions to Greg Ginn's raging slab. Dense with ambition, all of it realized, Rise Above (coproduced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor) alchemizes angst and self-hatred into triumph and inspiration. It just might be a masterpiece all over again.

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