Weâ€™ve all heard the old clichÃ© about the fine line between genius and madness, of which music is one of the greatest producers as we often debate whether an artist or album is ground-breaking new music or complete monotony. So lets put theory into practice and evaluate The Fiery Furnacesâ€™ new album â€˜Rehearsing My Choirâ€™ â€“ innovative musical poetry, or just a load of bollocksâ€¦
Unfortunately for The Fiery Furnaces it is the latter. An album made up of a series of events centred around Matt and Eleanor Friedbergersâ€™ grandma Olga Santanos. At its most glamorous â€˜Rehearsing My Choirâ€™ tells the tale of passions, lost loves, and beautifully observed portraits through fresh, original and challenging music. However, at its more realistic and truthful, it is a mish-mesh of random beats and dreary dialogue, more like dark cabaret than original pop music.
â€˜Rehearsing My Choirâ€™ is painful from start to finish, made worse by Matt Friedbergerâ€™s immensely irritating voice, sounding like an automated voice recording of Austin Powersâ€™ nemesis-come-father Dr Evil. A glimmer of hope occurs in two places on the album. Firstly, on â€˜A Candymakerâ€™s knife in my handbagâ€™, a bizarre yet effective combination of medieval strings and progressive house beats, sadly to be overwritten by Dr Evils drone. Secondly on â€˜slavinâ€™ awayâ€™ Eleanor Friedberger delivers the only vocal harmony on the album, and shows a tiny cavity into what The Fiery Furnaces could produce, however again becomes distorted by unnecessary dialogue and a poor array of synthesisers.
Sadly folks, if it's music you are after where the musicians actually play melodies and the singers actually sing, then The Fiery Furnaces are going to disappoint, as â€˜Rehearsing The Choirâ€™ is more a series of tracks than songs.