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Carousel Waltz

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Album Review

Folky balladeers Robot Ate Me impress from the start on Carousel Waltz on Olympia's 5RC Records. "Bad Feelings" immediately draws listeners in with steady and catchy instrumentation along with Ryland Bouchard's inventive lyrics and take-charge vocals, which are quickly reminiscent of Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. The simplified instrumentation is a stripped-down version of Robot Ate Me's vision, compared to their more experimental previous works. Acoustic guitar and elegant horns are pervasive throughout. The album's tones alternate from the hopeful to the regret-laden, highlighted by Bouchard's quirky turns of phrase and vocal style. Standouts include the optimistically rousing "All Good Things"; the changing momentum of "Tonight"; and the steady, somber tones of "Just One Girl." Bouchard's strength as a lyricist is evident throughout. The disc ends with the moody "Come Together" and mesmerizing "Hi Love," on which his vocals are easily comparable to Eric Metronome. Carousel Waltz is an impressive next step in the progression of Robot Ate Me.


Formed: 2002

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Ryland Bouchard masterminded the idiosyncratic, experimental indie pop project the Robot Ate Me in 2002. His first album, They Ate Themselves, which was comprised of the kind of drifting, spacy indie pop that nodded to bands like Sparklehorse and the Flaming Lips, was released on Swim Slowly that year. The album made ripples in the indie scene, and the following year found Bouchard on tour backed by David Greenberg, Are-Jay Hoffman, and William Haworth. The Robot Ate Me's sophomore album, 2004's...
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Carousel Waltz, The Robot Ate Me
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