By Bad Seed
After a well-earned break after nearly two solid years of activity around the band's last album, the group spent most of 2008 focused on the completion of a new album, with Greenspan working in the band's new studio/HQ/bar complex in Hamilton, Ontario and the recently-married Didemus telecommuting from his new home of Berlin, Germany. The only distractions from the task at hand were a DJ mix for Get Physical, an indirect Grammy nomination with Carl Craig for his incredible remix of "Like A Child" and Greenspan's many vocal contributions to the latest Morgan Geist album, Double Night Time.
Begone Dull Care is the band's third album, following the critical and commercial successes of Last Exit (2004) and So This Is Goodbye (2006). The title is a reference to a short film by the pioneering Oscar-winning Scottish-Canadian animator and electronic composer, Norman McLaren, who was a big influence on the conception and creation of this album. McLaren may not be as well-known today, but his influence has been seen by nearly anyone whose been raised on the early works of the Children's Television Workshop. McLaren was especially fond of direct film animation (the technique of physically manipulating or painting on film frame by frame) as is the case with Begone Dull Care and stop-start animation.
There isn't a single sound emitted that feels out of place or like an afterthought on Begone Dull Care. There is a measured restraint that's rarely employed in modern pop music and it's the precision and restraint in the arrangements that only serve to magnify what is there. And what is there is exceptional... from the post-industrial stomp of opener Parallel Lines to the soothing romanticism of What It's For, which brings the album to an achingly soft close. Lead single, Hazel could well be described as Sign O The Times re-imagined as an effervescent song of romantic yearning instead of the predecessor's dark reflection of Reagan's America.-Bits And Pieces