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Flight of the Liophant

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Album Review

Alexis Gideon's solo debut, Welcome Song, was one of the most profoundly irritating albums of 2007, one of those records that tried so hard to be eccentric that it sounded merely pathetic in its eagerness. A good rule to follow in music, as in life, is that if someone has to work hard to convince others that they're wild and creative and kooky, then that person is not actually any of those things. Happily, for his second album, Gideon wisely decided to mellow the heck out and stop trying too hard to be weird. As a result, Flight of the Liophant is a far more satisfying album that emphasizes those elements of Welcome Song that had been pretty interesting despite the lameness of the rest. The deliberately awkward nerdcore rapping is severely curtailed, and even on those songs where Gideon does choose to rap, his flow is considerably more natural and easygoing. The obnoxious noise-terrorist aspects are largely gone, with the occasional bursts of deliberate ugliness better integrated into the album's easygoing mutation of D.I.Y. indie pop and underground hip-hop. So there's still little here that Beck wasn't doing better on his early indie albums, but Flight of the Liophant is so much less irritating than Welcome Song had been that it's nearly impossible not to find it comparatively charming.


Born: Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative Rap

Years Active: '00s

Alexis Gideon is that rare bird, a creative eccentric who left New York City to pursue his very individual muse somewhere else. Gideon first gained the attention of adventurous music fans in Chicago, when he formed the warped hip-hop duo Princess with Michael O'Neill; fusing simple but funky beats with lo-fi electronic accompaniment and off-kilter instrumental interludes featuring anything from faint strains of banjo to overdriven electric guitars, Princess suggests what might have happened if Ween...
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Flight of the Liophant, Alexis Gideon
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