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People Like Us, "Recyclopaedia Britannica"

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Mess Media
This "best of" collection of woozy, kitschy plunderphonia looks back on ten years of PLU releases over the course of 30 tracks. The finer moments foster nostalgia for childhood memories you've never had, as Vicki Bennett's strong suit is the whimsical collage of sounds that appeal to the immature side of her audience. Uneasy listening, bathroom humor, gaudy polka jaunts, field recordings and happy singalongs all emerge from the blender as a dadaistic children's record. That's not to say that this music is unsophisticated; many of the juxtapositions are brilliant. The closest comparison I could make would be Stock, Hausen and Walkman, but PLU does not shoehorn the samples into beat-oriented electronic music. People Like Us has a very personalized approach that has more to do with the silly innocence of Spike Jones than the dark cynicism of fellow cut-uppers Negativland. But this innocence is savagely taken advantage of on "If someone touches you," which is hilarious but will have you feeling creepy for laughing. Sort of like the deviant side of Paul Rubens creeping onto the set of the Pee Wee Herman show and molesting the talking chair. The parts of this record that fall short for me are some of the vocal snippets pulled from radio interviews and TV call-ins as they just don't share the exotic appeal of the musical constructions. But the slow spots don't take too much away from this highly entertaining retrospective.



Last Updated on Sunday, 19 February 2006 22:59  


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