FLOTUS sounds like a Lambchop record for all of about 30 seconds. Only that much of ‘In Care of 8375309’ – one of two epics that bookend the album – could comfortably sit on any of their other LPs. As Kurt Wagner’s vocal arrives heavily laden with autotune, it becomes clear we’re not going for a normal stroll in the alt-countryside.
FLOTUS is a minimal, electronic, lounge-suited R&B record. If alt-country is still a thing and Lambchop remain one of its stalwarts, here they stretch the definition so far it’s frankly useless.
Of course, people looking for minimal, electronic, lounge-suited R&B will probably start their search elsewhere. But this is a record that attempts to broaden the horizons of alt-country fans, something that should be commended. It’s a coherent, pleasurable and hugely relaxing listen, and in that sense, it’s exactly like every other Lambchop album.
In every other sense, it isn’t – unless there’s a Lambchop remix LP I’m unaware of. Come ‘JFK’, the record has abandoned traditional instrumentation and clean vocals all together and doesn’t look back. As for the lyrics, Wagner’s have always been ambiguous – that’s part of their beauty – but here they’re so heavily treated they’ve become completely obscure.
It’s weird, but it works. There are already a dozen wonderful albums all easily recognisable as Lambchop records, and in honesty, nobody really needed another. From the sound of things, least of all Lambchop.
Buy: Lambchop – FLOTUS