An honest confession, if I may: I didn't care much for Valet's previous record, Blood is Clean. Why? Can't quite say, really. Sometimes one cannot fully vocalize their aesthetic decisions, and in such cases, why overanalyze? Accept you feel a certain way and move on. I always prefer to give a band or an artist the benefit of the doubt; after all, an unsatisfying record doth not an unsatisfying career make.
And such is true with Valet. My feelings for Blood is Clean bear no influence on my feelings for Naked Acid, because I find Honey Owens' latest creation to be a beautiful, seamless collection of modern prog-rock and impressive ambient drone. Heck, before I heard one note I had a feeling it was thus so by judging the cover; it certainly looks like an obscure prog-rock record from 1973, no?
Set those things aside, my friends. How it sounds is much more important than how you think it should sound. Naked Acid sounds exactly as you think it should sound, though, so I think I wasted your time with that last sentence. Honey is a visionary, and her songs are big, beautiful, droning things, but within those big drones are many little themes, insuring a captive listening experience and a sound that never grows dull or monotonous. I like that she starts songs one way and then finishes them another. I like that she throws in beats at the end of an album's worth of psych-rock and experimental drone. Thus, I could say, "I really like the electronica dance element found Valet's new record," and I would piss off the po-faced art-rock loving types who have heard only one or two songs without actually hearing the entire record, but I would be correct, because "Streets" is a nice little electronica/dance-style number, though done in a way that is oh-so-Valet.
Mainly, though, I like how Naked Acid is just mind-meltingly beautiful. Sometimes love's reasoning is simple...
Listen To: "Kehaar"
Naked Acid is available now on Kranky
Labels: Kranky Records, Reviews V, Valet