the aluminum group:
 pelo (hefty records)
Named in honor of a line of furniture designed by Charles and Ray Eames, the core of The Aluminum Group is comprised of the Chicago-based brothers John and Frank Navin. The brothers started out in 1983 as part of a hardcore band named Women in Love, but moved on to put together five CDs on their own on which they cite influences like The Carpenters, Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66. How can you go wrong with such idols?

Pelo is the fifth offering by TAG, but my first foray into their unique sound. TAG combine many of the typical electronica/techno sampling, but quickly moves beyond them by employing flavors of world music, 60s lounge melodies, 70s ballads, and splashes of folk guitar. I guess what I'm trying to say is there's a little something for everyone.

In addition to the uniqueness of the TAG sound, their lyrics are unusual as well. On the songs that actually have words, most only hint at something that makes sense. The remaining ones seem to be out of some French art film with that darn crying clown on the beach...ever seen that one?

Although I must admit there are things I like about this CD, I can't say that it's for everyone. It's minimalist melodies and repetition can become quite annoying. If you do choose to take this strange ride, review the map before starting the journey. The tracks that I enjoyed and recommend are "If You've Got a Lover, You've Got a Life", "Worrying Kind", and "Sermon to the Frogs".

--Charlie Bradshaw
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