You’ve got to pause when any band – except Clogs who have a life-time pass – start to toy with bassoons. Indeed, the history of fully-orchestrated rock albums is littered with things like Days of Future Past….proceed with great caution. Still, These New Puritans latest CD, Hidden is a good one, brave as lions but twice as musical.
Here’s a bit from my Blurt review, quietly up yesterday amidst SXSW madness:
Even if Hidden didn't work - and it mostly does - it ought to be celebrated for sheer bravery. On this follow-up to 2008's Beat Pyramid, These New Puritans again build a framework of big thwonking hip hop beats. It's just that instead of overlaying them with stripped down rock songs, as they did on the debut, they have added a whole post-modern orchestra of sounds - strings, bassoons, vibraphone, flute and brass. It's a surprising turn, perhaps foreshadowed in the more flamboyant crevices of Beat Pyramid, but here wholly realized and stunning.