Posted by: Johnny Loftus on March 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm

White Blue Yellow and Clouds, Introducing White Blue Yellow and Clouds (I and Ear, 2008)

The doo-wop tradition has as much a right to objectification and reinterpretation as any genre from history; in the contemporary world, why should blaring horn sections and joyous group choruses be the exclusive province of crappy ska bands? Matt Bauder understands, and as lead vocalist, tenor saxophonist, and bandleader of White Blue Yellow and Clouds, he’s doing something about it.

Introducing White Blue Yellow and Clouds
opens with “Stars” and “Moonlight,” one a jumpy doo-wop and the other a deep and honeyed soul workout, and both point again to the territory that’s thankfully been taken back by groups like Bauder’s and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings — they approach timeless music with an understanding of its contours, but the willingness to mess with them, too. “In My Dreams” is like a sketch, 30 seconds of Beach Boys fetishism, and its followed by “Cheer Up in Your Sleep (Daydream Believer),” a brassy re-interpretation of the Davy Jones-sung Monkees classic that’s as bouncy, catchy, and referential as anything by the Pipettes, who have been known to look similarly over their shoulders.

White Blue Yellow and Clouds have an obvious affinity for their source material, probably more so than some of their throwback peers. But Introducing gets away with being both old and new-sounding with its little touches — the echoing crash of some sampled noise or sound loop in the depths of “Dotted Lines,” or the way the cover of “God Only Knows” begins as a few random bits of the original song, like they didn’t download the entire thing — and the result is a genuinely creative album that still knows it’s kind of being cheeky about its history. — Johnny Loftus

[tags]White Blue Yellow and Clouds, Introducing, Matt Bauder, doo-wop, Beach Boys, Davy Jones, The Monkees, Pipettes[/tags]


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