Someone Will Take Care of Me
Corey Dargel, David T. Little, International Contemporary Ensemble, Kathleen Supove & Seth Gordon
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In the 21st century the line that separates classical and pop continues to blur. How different are, say, Nico Muhly and the Dirty Projectors? Or Sufjan Stevens and the vocalist/composer Corey Dargel, who released the impressive Someone Will Take Care of Me in 2010? There's an echo of the late, great Arthur Russell’s work in Dargel’s art songs. Each half of this double album presents a set of pieces that are linked thematically. On “Thirteen Near Death Experiences,” Dargel, joined by the International Contemporary Ensemble and drummer David T. Little, explores hypochondria and other issues. The second set, “Removable Parts,” which finds Dargel accompanied by pianist Kathleen Supové, looks at the unlikely subject of voluntary amputation. Herky-jerky rhythms and catchy string figures mark “Touch Me Where it Counts,” which expresses the erotic feelings of a patient for his doctor. “Ritalin” deals with the flattening effect of the drug as handclaps interact with ensemble playing. “Fingers” evokes a stranger, more complicated Stephin Merritt song, and in its own way, it’s just as catchy.
Beautiful melodies, intricately orchestrated. One of my favorite '10 releases so far.
Corey's music breaks my heart and then pieces it together again.
This is an absolutely phenomenal album. Don't be scared away by the price--this is a double album, and you get plenty of bang for the buck.
Both Removable Parts and 13 Near Death Experiences are terrific sets, but I'm particularly in love with the latter. The phenomenal playing by ICE is part of it, but Dargel's haunted, sometimes almost broken, song structures are the main reason. It's an imperfect analogy, but there's a little bit of David Byrne in here, especially in the use of a somewhat disaffected vocal style that fails to completely mask the genuine emotions underneath.
The orchestration is also a high-point. Dargel has a fantastic ear for instrument combinations that sound perfectly natural, but are actually fairly non-standard and intriguing. There's enough intricate interplay underneath the surface to reward multiple listenings. If you're like me, you'll hear new things every time you listen.
Buy this record!