Dirty Projectors founding member David Longstreth has done well to hold the group together for the last decade, what with the ever-changing roster of members and subsequent updates to their style of music – but lately he’s needed to do so with greater urgency, following the departure of vocalist Amber Coffman.
Coffman’s absence has somewhat tarnished the standard of songwriting in Dirty Projectors’ new self-titled album. Granted, it’s been an emotional time for Longstreth given Coffman’s departure from the band meant the end of Longstreth’s personal relationship with her, but as much as you can understand that the album is thematically focused on the break-up, it really drags on – the introduction of new collaborations the only point of interest. Opening track ‘Keep Your Name’ is a song of the good times: its gospel tones and Longstreth’s prayer-like vocals make for a promising start.
Longstreth recently explained he’s been further exploring his ability as a vocalist, and that statement is evident across Dirty Projectors. But for all that it’s an interesting turn to hear the group take on a different aesthetic, mixing more with R&B rhythms, synthesisers and hip hop, this album is ultimately just whiney. Lyrics harp on about love constantly and the death of Longstreth’s relationship to the point of irritation.
Time to move on, mate, it’s affecting your music.
Dirty Projectors is out Friday February 24 through Domino.