The Dandy Warhols - Why You So Crazy - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Dandy Warhols - Why You So Crazy

by James Weiskittel Rating:4 Release Date:2019-01-25
The Dandy Warhols - Why You So Crazy
The Dandy Warhols - Why You So Crazy

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost twenty years since The Dandy Warhols released their breakout third album Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. But despite the band’s all-too-brief brush with mainstream success, the Portland-based four-piece have admirably continued to steadily release one forward-looking record after another.

And now, ten albums in, The Dandy Warhols have reached the point where they are clearly making music for themselves. Case in point being their latest release Why You So Crazy. Described by the band as a sort of return to their “freewheeling” roots, Why You So Crazy reveals a veteran indie-pop outfit in full-on exploration mode.

By design, Why You So Crazy touches upon a dizzying array of disparate sounds and stylistic touches and bears all the hallmarks of an artistic labor of love. Unfortunately for The Dandy Warhols, that basically means that the band’s latest record is, at best, a mixed bag.

With twelve tracks coming in at just a hair over forty minutes, The Dandy Warhols could have delivered a lean and mean record, but instead, Why You So Crazy is so full of rubberneck-inducing twists and turns that it feels less like a cohesive album and more like a compilation of singles and b-sides.

While tracks like the defacto album-opener (the forty seconds of noise that is “Fred n Ginger” doesn’t count) “Terraform” and the leadoff single “Be Alright” evoke shades of the band’s “Bohemian Like You” heyday, there are a handful of ill-advised missteps (the electro-country of “Motor City Steel” being the worst offender) that ultimately bog things down.

But what really grates this reviewer’s cheese is just how front-loaded this whole thing is. The album closes with the pulsing “Forever” and the obnoxiously abstract “Ondine”, both of which could’ve/should’ve easily just been left off. In fact, I suspect that there just might actually be a stellar E.P. lost somewhere inside of this bloated mess of a record just begging to get out. But I digress.

While it’s tempting to dismiss Why You So Crazy as yet another ‘just-in-time-for-our-next-tour' release, the truth is the album hits more than it misses, even if it’s just by a hair. And for a band with ten records under their belt, they’ve undoubtedly earned some artistic clout with their audience. That's why it’s such a bummer that Why You So Crazy feels less like a bold artistic statement and more like a missed opportunity.

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