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A cute album that just struck me as a bit daft at first, but after a while I became fond of its little subtleties. Lemon Jelly's soft lounge-dance instrumentals are mellow in spirit but I don't know why they get called "downbeat" music. Except for the atmospheric Air-like "Curse of Ka'Zar", their tempos are mostly fast and perky. It's more something like "down-tune" - in that their tunes plod along within a small range. They seem to be sitting down in the lounge, noodling around with a cheeky and slightly smug grin on their faces, not feeling the need to develop things too much. Not that it's remotely monotonous though, the intricate jazz arrangement of "Return to Patagonia" is particularly dazzling.
The daftness is added by those silly voiceovers that they are fond of. We hear characters such as a well-spoken gentleman reciting his travel destinations with relish on "Ramblin' Man", and a sinister scientific investigator on "Experiment Number Six" They add a bit of personality, once you get over the annoyance stage. Although that might not be possible for "Nice Weather for Ducks", which should have carried a health warning about its insidious brain-eating earworm.
August 9, 2004