A horrible hack

The Busy Signals

Baby's First Beats

Year Released: 2000
Format: CD
Label: sugar free records
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
This is a super pleasant to listen to record. I'm not sure I'd ever play it religiously, or even on repeat mode, or when I was in a sour-faced mood, but it makes for some very nice background play. Basically, it's laid back indie pop music made mainly by one guy named Howard W Hamilton III. He writes the songs, sings, puts them together, then fits in a few samples, loops and beats to have things moving. At it's best I'd liken it to an even slacker Built to Spill, with a touch of Joan of Arc blippybleepyness, though overall things are a little more relaxed and poppier. When it's got problems is when it sounds like the Lightning Seeds. Luckily, that isn't too often. Opening song "Headphone World" is probably the pick of the bunch, just a super nice tune and a great listen.

Oh, the press release says that Howie is a stoner. Heh, as if you'd never guess through listening to this. Check out "I'm So Slippery" with the layered vocals sung over the repetetive beats and the sample of a woman sweetly singing "La la la" over and over. Like, way out, man. Or whatever stoner guys say. The whole record is only 30 minutes too, which is the perfect length as it saves it from getting annoying, though like I said, it's certainly not got a 100% hit rate. The cheesy keyboards on "Clogged Airways" irritates me for one.

I'm listening to this in the background whilst supping beer and checking out the Minnesota Twins versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on real audio, the window open, the sun setting. Things are good. I hated this at first, but you can't help but feel some affinity to things after you give it a chance. Not the kind of thing I'd want to be listening to all the time, but check this out if less than straightforward pop music is your thingamy.

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