New 2 the Brain predict the future of music and politics on mysterious debut

February 26, 2008 at 4:45 am (Adult Album Alternative) (, , , , )

 

Derek’s New Music Bin

Artist: New 2 the Brain

Album: New 2 the Brain

Rating: 10/10

Official Website: http://www.new2thebrain.com

Written by Derek Jensen

Recorded last year, there’d be no way New 2 the Brain could’ve predicted the odd shapes that the race for the presidential election has taken. Yet here is the mysteriously named vocalist/producer Wa and songwriter Lawrence Stoller describing “Politics Un Usual,” which aptly mirrors the confusion of voters caught between the excitement of promised changes and the comfort of experience. “The race is on/Going nowhere fast/The parade marches by/But what’s gonna last?” Wa sings as the track continues to dip into caustic commentary. Probably what’s most effective about “Politics Un Usual,” lyrically speaking, is that it doesn’t take the side of either liberal or conservative; it seems to have distrust of both parties and the campaign machines in general. With its funky bass and Steely Dan-ish vocals, “Politics Un Usual” is no stale CNN soundbite; it has a punchy groove with a Beatles-esque appreciation for dramatic tempo shifts.

New 2 the Brain are named perfectly. They do not resemble much of today’s alternative acts. They glue pieces of Peter Gabriel-ish English pop, world music, Genesis-styled progressive rock, and Steely Dan’s sleek jazzy rhythms and give birth to a quirky yet accessible sound that is totally their own. “We’re All in This Together” and “Born Naked” are the catchiest tunes here and will probably taste the sweetest initially for unenlightened listeners. But it’s New 2 the Brain’s more ambitious tracks that’ll eventually floor them.  

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