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Dumbing Up

World Party

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Album Review

After a three-year absence, Dumbing Up marks the return of leader Karl Wallinger, and he manages to recapture the magic of previous efforts such as Goodbye Jumbo and Bang! During Wallinger's hiatus, interest in the band had grown after their song "She's the One" became a hit for British pop star Robbie Williams. For the most part, Wallinger delivers, ably demonstrating his considerable strengths as a writer, arranger, and lyricist. The album is a mix of influences, but chief among them is Bob Dylan. Several songs, such as "Who Are You," feature bare-boned guitar arrangements that let the wordplay stand out. Other '60s influences abound. The lead single, "Here Comes the Future," is an intriguing bit of retro-soul while "Another 1000 Years" plays like a Beatles ballad. After a lackluster 1997 release, Egyptology, Wallinger redeems himself with an agreeable album that is more comforting than it is groundbreaking. [Dumbing Up was reissued in 2006 with a bonus DVD containing over two hours of material.]

Biography

Formed: 1986

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

World Party began as an outlet for the pop infatuations of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger, previously best known for his tenure with the Waterboys. Born October 19, 1957, in Prestatyn, Wales, Wallinger grew up enamored not only of the Beatles but also of the Motown and Merseybeat sounds, and made his professional debut in 1976 as a member of the group Quasimodo. (Years...
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