Petty. One-word review could end at this point, but let’s elaborate. And maybe start with stating that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Frankly, some of the greatest songs are soaked in pettiness, even hatred. Dirty Projectors’ latest (thankfully) isn’t as ruthless as you’d think – it’s just a statement made by a broken-hearted man.
Self-titled record is a result of David Longstreth’s, project’s only permanent member’s, break up with his ex-groupmate and long-term partner, Amber Coffman. It also happens to be their (or now, his) first album in 5 years. And while it’s as detailed as ever, something certainly lacks. At best, though, Dirty Projectors is catchy and confessional. On the introspective singles Keep Your Name and Up In Hudson, Longstreth details his split with Coffman. On Death Spiral he goes even further and he compares collapsing relationship to a plane crash. Cool Your Heart, a collaboration with Dawn Richard, on the other hand is meant to be a healer, as the title suggests.
Unfortunately, Dirty Projectors isn’t nearly as exciting as its predecessors. Even for a break-up record, it’s overthought to the point, it’s somewhat off-putting. Cuts like Little Bubble or Winner Take Nothing bring nothing interesting to the record, and although the little experimentation in the middle section of Ascent Through Clouds is appreciated, this particular track as a whole piece feels awkward. Even though the result wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been, let’s just hope the whole experience made Longstreth find his peace.