Review : Thenewno2 - thefearofmissingout
ConsequenceofsoundSkimming over thenewno2′s past three years, it’s tough to figure out what exactly Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks are out to accomplish with their nearly unclassifiable music. Harrison’s father was a Beatle, Hicks makes electronic music, and the collective has featured Regina Spektor and dabbled in rap. None of it seems to add up. 2009′s You Are Here received a warm welcome from critics, though adjectives and genres used ranged from Beck comparisons to psychedelic rock to light trip-hop. On the closing track of their sophomore LP, thefearofmissingout, Harrison finally spells it out pretty clearly: “See the thing about the number two, it’s mysterious.” They like transcending strict definition, and this proves to be the album’s strength and downfall.
Each song on thefearofmissingout works through both live and programmed instruments, the constants being glitchy electronic noises atop rich beds of guitar and keys. When at their best, the band makes for a sort of poppy Radiohead, creating mesmerizing grooves like “Timezone”, where the subtly harmonized vocals nicely offset the dark lyrics and Harrison’s surprisingly wide-ranging vocals.
Another highlight, “Make It Home”, oulines a classic, psychedelic rock blueprint modernized with warbled bass. The stylistic differences between the two is striking, yet their shared status as album standouts (along with the surprising consistency the band manages to achieve) attests to the talents of the group and their exploratory ambition.
While half of the album succeeds in combining a slew of genres and sonic elements into a cohesive mix, the experiments don’t always work so well. Particularly weak is the rap track “thewaitaround”, featuring overly aggressive drum machines and an unsettling repetition of the opening lines. Harrison, Hicks, and company also fall short in keeping the longer tracks engaging, which is unfortunate considering the fact that four of the ten clock in at over five minutes....full text
Chicagotribune“I'm changing so fast you can’t keep up,” Dhani Harrison declares on “thefearofmissingout” (Vagrant), the second studio album by thenewno2 (pronounced “The new Number Two,” in homage to a character from the short-lived cult TV series “The Prisoner”). The declaration sets the tone for an album about anxious times, and the music is appropriately fidgety and restless, a beehive of sound that almost subliminally coalesces into songs....full text
RollingstoneThe best moments on the second LP by Dhani Harrison's band recall his dad, George, without sounding like him – "Staring Out to Sea," with co-vocals by Ben Harper, evokes the uneasy bliss of "Long, Long, Long" amid dubstep wub-wub. The future-shocked verses and digital wheedling often miss their marks, but as a vehicle for Harrison's soulful voice, the band is a work-in-progress worth watching....full text
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