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Sly And Seducto Solex

Solex Vs. The Hitmeister

Whereas here newest release Pick Up is based around conversations that Elisabeth Esselink supposedly had in the bathroom (don't ask), her first release was really the introduction of her alter-ego named Solex. On every single one of the 12 tracks, the name Solex somehow finds its way into the mix, whether it's "Solex Feels Lucky," "Rolex By Solex," or "Peppy Solex." Instead of using samples of live recordings this time around, the record store owner mined the good bits from crappy releases she couldn't sell and constructed quite a quirky, catchy batch of tracks around them. The whole record isn't sample-based (there is some excellent drumming and horn action that provide the backbone to things), but the strange little bits that find their way into the mix give the disc its unique quality.

As always, the lyrical content of the songs ranges from stream of consciousness to what sounds like strange little bits of what could be a much larger story. Most of the time, things don't rhyme at all, but it just adds the the strange narrative quality of things.

The disc starts off with the hugely catchy "One Louder Solex," and don't look back from there. Not only does the song follow seemingly unrelated events and situations, but Esselinks delivery of the vocals (as with what happens on most songs) makes it hard to even piece together what she's saying part of the time. She adds breaks in the middle of words and never completes the lines when it's expected, but it only makes you listen a little bit harder. The main part of the song is constructed out of some nice little guitar strumming and what sounds like a very distorted sample of someone groaning. With a funky looped beat and some nice little chimes, it's a perfect accompaniment to the somewhat loopy lyrics. After a somewhat repetitive second track, things slip off into sort of a seducto mode with "Solex In A Slipshod Style." Following the perils of a drunken night and undergarmets that manage to find their way off, the loping track again captures the perfect style of music to go along with the words.

The next two tracks continue the frisky mood, although "Solex's Snag" works much better musically than the somewhat nerve-grating repetition of the looped guitars in "Waking Up With Solex." Rolling instead with a laid back groove, twinkling little vibraphone bits, and some strategically placed clarinet bits, the music feels right at home alongside the lyrics of makeout sessions that cause snagged tights. Things pick up in a big way with the loud, live drumming sound on the aforementioned "Rolex By Solex." After slinking it for a couple tracks, Esselink shows she can also do the lighter tracks just as easily. If there was any doubt of it, things should be quelled on "Solex All Licketysplit," one of the most infectious songs I've heard in quite some time. Although it only runs about 2 and a half minutes, the horn-jolted track moves along with more great drumming and some really odd background sounds. Things all work together hand in hand, though, and make it probably the most infectious track on the release. After two more kicked-back numbers and the full-tilt "When Solex Just Stood There," the album closes out with the slightly hyperactive "Peppy Solex." After a slow intro, the track kicks in with a thumping beat and some nice organ sounds.

Solex Vs. The Hitmeister actually shows even a bit more variety in sound than her follow-up, but works in nearly the same way. Esselink shows a good range in her vocals (from seductive to playful to completely goofy), and lyrically the album is just as witty (even though you may find yourself scratching your head after hearing some tracks). She's kind of like the female counterpart to Beck in her own way, but that's a good thing.

Rating: 7.25