Review: Mudville

“The Glory of Man is Not in Vogue”
(Slurry Records)

Be quick to judge and you will only broaden your Portishead-based definition of trip hop to include this excellent opus featuring the vocalist and wordsmith Marilyn Carino.  Ruminate more on the layers of meaning that can be unraveled from the mysterious, timely title and you will find further treasures of vivid metaphor and sophisticated simile on such songs as “The Hero of the World” and “Othello”.  It is on “Othello” that versatile vocalist Carino delivers in a lyric reminiscent of late-, jazz-period Joni Mitchell.  However, the Annie Lennox solo recordings may be a better reference point for the rest of the album, since Carino shares with Lennox the potent, smoky voice of the pop mezzo that introduces a compelling mystery in depth to such striking images as “diamond backs of surfer girls”, “flying bat-rat ponies” and other semi-surrealistic lines from this exquisite album.  Julee Cruise comes to mind here, too.  Do not call it “trip hop”, call it a trip past the limits of pop.