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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Patrick Ripoll: Praise The Lord! (2008)

Many people know Patrick Ripoll through his glitch pop/noise/sample album Disorient, but before the samples he was making his own angry brand of folk. That album, Open All Winter, was admittedly hard to listen to because of the primal scream-esque approach. But, on Praise The Lord! Patrick’s skills as a musician and songwriter have beautifully come together to make it easily one of my favorite albums of 2008.

For the most part Patrick plays these songs straight, and really it works best this way. Half the appeal is its cathartic feel and when you could easily get turned off by some of the screaming and wrenched vocals by any other artist, here it used effectively and we scream right along with him.

For example, a song like “Second Place,” works best because it in many ways is a wonderful anthem for downtrodden souls everywhere. By the end of the song I’m shouting the lines, “Can anyone drive me home/I’ve had too much to drink/I apologize to the groom and bride/For vomiting in the sink,” at the top of my lungs.

The album is not without tender moments. “The Day I First Knew I Would Love You” takes a progression from The White Stripes and transforms it into a wonderfully detailed treatise on an errand trip that has far more implications than one would think. And, It has one the sweetest set of rhymes on the album, “And for each other we got DVDs/Punch-Drunk Love and Love Actually/And they were buy one get one free/We split the savings…50/50.” Pure gold.

One of the most contentious songs on this album is “Generation”. This song talks about leaving The Moldy Peaches buried and declaring to DIY artists, “Put the ukulele down son/You don’t know shit about life.” Now you know a movement/scene is dead when they lose their sense of humor (I’m talking to you punk!), so just laugh along and besides, “Nothing personal, really/I wish you twee sumbitches the best.”

The album climaxes with the song “Rest” that chokes me up every single time. Musing on giving up Patrick sings with resignation, “I'll give up all ambition that I ever had/ Go work at the post office, doesn't really sound too bad.” It’s simply heartbreaking. I hope he doesn’t mean it.

I could probably say something about all nineteen tracks on Praise The Lord!, but its fruitless to try and capture the brutal honesty and sheer drive that Patrick exudes. He sings like he’s running out of time, but I hope that he keeps creating and creating.

Patrick Ripoll-"Generation"

Patrick Ripoll on Myspace
Download Praise The Lord! for free on CLLCT!


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