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Album Review

Though you may not have heard of Kristian Hoffman, a lot of people in the music industry have, and with this release Hoffman has tugged on a few of his connections to reel in a veritable cornucopia of guest stars for this album of duets — thus the title, &. The proceedings are varied: both sweet and sad (such as "Get It Right This Time with that dog.'s Anna Waronker and the track "Scarecrow" with Rufus Wainwright), upbeat ("Devil in My Care" with Russell Mael of Sparks matching Hoffman note for falsetto note), beautiful (the track "Revert to Type" features gorgeous string arrangements from industry legend Van Dyke Parks), and camp (...well, pretty much everything on the album, but the surf-tinged "Madison Avenue" with El Vez and the guest appearance from Pee Wee Herman...er, make that Paul Reubens...probably fit the bill best). That's not even mentioning great team-ups with the Three O'Clock's Michael Quercio, Maria McKee of Lone Justice, Lydia Lunch, or Ann Magnuson. From start to finish, it's a tour de force of classic pop songcraft matched up with inspired collaborators. Right at the beginning of the album, Hoffman claims that he's "...gonna put the 'ooo' in the human condition," and there's certainly a good share of ooos, aaahs, and even eees on &. This is definitely one of the nicest surprises of 2002.

Customer Reviews

Erm... Interesting

Very very Elvis Costello. Alot of unique qualities, and while most of these duets harmonize well, there's something just a little disturbing in the polish like each composition is trying to be a million things at once. Would be better if there was some variation between songs rather than all within. Have you ever imagined Nick Cave being happy? Here you go. This album isn't going to get much play time from me, but there's clearly talent so I'll be checking back to see if future releases take on a more tamed style.

A rare gem.

This is one of those strange, rare, wonderful albums you stumble across and thank your lucky stars! Complete with duets from tons of great artists including Sparks and Pee Wee Herman !! If you have any musical taste whatsoever, do yourself a favor and get this !

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter Kristian Hoffman first emerged during the late '70s fronting the New York City cult favorite the Mumps, and was also an active figure in the No Wave, performing alongside the likes of Lydia Lunch and the Contortions. As a member of Bleaker St. Incident, he spearheaded the "anti-folk" movement, and later played in Kid Congo Powers' group Congo Norvell. By the '90s, Hoffman was finally performing regularly as a solo artist; in 1993, he issued his debut I Don't Love My Guru Anymore,...
Full Bio
&, Kristian Hoffman
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