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Seth Goodman is unlike anyone else today. His project The Grand Undoing is releasing his new album White Space Flavors and Parties On TV, wherein Goodman combines artists such as David Bowie and The Damned for a truly original and wild ride. Songs like “Cross Over Now” are ragged, loose, and sound as if he will collapse any second if he doesn’t get another drink quickly, but they’re also insanely fun and catchy. Instruments seem to be chosen at random as if he picked up whatever was lying around in the studio at the time and the vocals and chord progressions seem to be picked out at random, but out of all the chaos and quirks, it’s surprisingly a method that works wonderfully.
Goodman picked up a lot of notes on style from Bowie, for although the album isn’t concept record in the sense of Ziggy Stardust themes of detachment from modern society carry throughout the album and he uses glam-period Bowie’s sense of flamboyance wonderfully without overdoing it unlike many others. The album title, which is a reference to both “manufactured flavors that don’t exist in nature” and “the artificiality of our culture”, is one Bowie would have been proud to have thought up.
On songs like “Long Are The Hours”, he showcases his country roots, sounding like Lee Hazlewood’s take on the genre, as if he’s simultaneously mocking and paying tribute to the genre. Goodman also can’t help but sound like he’s also drunk or on acid the entire time, and there’s also an undercurrent of late-60s Who that only intensifies as the song progresses.
Every song sounds slightly different in style from the one before it, but there’s the unifying thread which is his own personality that ties it all stylistically together. It’s as if he takes genres and bands we love so dearly and perverts them so we can hear them as his own twisted mind has for years. One of the best songs here is the country-tinged “Ballad of Alvin Gordon” which swirls around from boozy-*Rolling Stones* sing-a-long to a grand Phil Spector-esque production. The Grand Undoing’s White Space Flavors and Parties on TV will be released August 14th on CD, vinyl, and digital.
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