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Rise Above

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Audio CD, September 11, 2007
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Over three full lengths, an EP, and five different live bands in four years, David Longstreth has created in Dirty Projectors a body of music of original and variegated beauty. The breadth of his talents as a songwriter, arranger, bandleader and singer call to mind Prince, Joni Mitchell, and Bjork. His constantly evolving sound -- both live and on record -- the sheer intensity of the music, ... Read more in Amazon's Dirty Projectors Store

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Rise Above + Bitte Orca [Vinyl] + Swing Lo Magellan
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dead Oceans
  • ASIN: B000U3DF0O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,706 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. What I See
2. No More
3. Depression
4. Six Pack
5. Thirsty And Miserable
6. Police Story
7. Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
8. Spray Paint (The Walls)
9. Room 13
10. Rise Above
11. Bonus Track 1

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David M. DeLeon on October 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Rise Above is Dirty Projectors front-man (and only permanent member) Dave Longstreth's attempt to, get this, rewrite Black Flag's album Damaged from memory. But this isn't a collection of covers - what he's ended up with here is a pile of ethereal, amazing music with the characteristic complex Projectors harmonies, syncopation, and turn-your-head-around compositions that bears no resemblance to Black Flag, despite the fact that they share the same lyrics. Take "Police Story", the most iconoclastic track. It's a soft, flowing, reed-heavy piece with an opening that feels somewhere out of Debussy, at yet the lyrics go, "This f*cking city, it's run by pigs, they take away the rights from all the kids."

The amount of re-imagining it took to create these tracks makes the album something for the annals of pop music art-history. Interesting museum installation idea: play Rise Above on one side, Damaged on the other, and see if your head explodes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jive rhapsodist on August 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD
...and maybe I am one too! People who critique this disc often talk about "oddness for oddnesses sake" or some such thing. Yeah, yeah, you want to find a Diamond in the Rough, one who doesn't wear some kind of MFA cred on his sleeve. I get it... OK, you guys, good luck searching the dystopic digital universe for the next Robert Johnson - and even if you find him, David Byrne and Bjork will be collaborating with him, TOO! - before you know it. The only questions that matter are these: Is this music beautiful? - answer:yes; Is this music amazing? - yes again. Is David Longstreth pretentious?............well.....sometimes...I gotta admit...The timbre of his voice - like some kind of horrible extreme parody of "sensitive". Oh well, nothing and nobody is perfect...except Amber and Angel - my God, they are really awesome. What would they do with their lives if they weren't drinking the DP Kool - Aid? Something as good? Better? Or would they become members of that bizarre breed of hardened Rock Freelancers? A horrible thought...hopefully not that. As I trudge through this universe, I become more and more convinced that people love everything about music - except music. Well, there is some incredible musical music here - and according to me, it doesn't get TOO much in the way of whatever it is that they are trying to "say". OK, it's not as immediate as the Sex Pistols - or even Gang of Four. But it fits into a playlist where Ligeti, Konono # 1, Pere Ubu and Cecil Taylor live happily together - take that Nico and your Muhly - ists! And you too, BOAC and your Bangling Woods! Some people just are congenitally incapable of playing Nature to your Culture (thank you Barbara Kruger), even if or when they try!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christine Helmerson on June 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I'm a big fan of the dirty projectors. They put on an awesome show & their records are never lacking. I own this album, Slaves Graves & Ballads, and New Attitude. All are fantastic. This CD specifically I could play on repeat forever & it wouldn't get old.

I would agree with the 2 star review, in that yes this band is different. If you can't handle some intentional off beat non-traditional usage of vocals, guitar and drums dirty projectors is not the band for you. I would definitely not compare them to Clash or the Arctic Monkeys though.
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Format: Audio CD
Rise Above, as anyone looking at this page is most likely aware of, is Dave Longstreth's attempt at recreating Black Flag's seminal album Damaged from memory. Or something along those lines. The music is completely different, certain songs are omitted, and even the lyrics are slightly altered from time to time. It's probably the hippest musical concept to take place in the last ten years and the results are nothing short of breathtaking. The songs are full of gorgeous vocal harmonies, brilliant guitar playing, and hair-raising rhythm sections. It's quite often that the most ethereal and pretty melodies are combined with Henry Rollins's angst-ridden lyrics (For example, the bouncy melody that opens "What I See" is mixed with the lines, "I want to live. I wish I was dead") and the effects are, basically, really freaking cool. For a person like myself who gets no musical enjoyment out of Black Flag's hardcore (and not to mention dated) sound, but still appreciates the poetic expression of anger, frustration, and a feeling of hopelessness in the modern world, this album does wonders. Rise Above is, in my opinion, a soon-to-be classic and a nearly perfect album because of both it's clever theme and it's many, MANY moments of brilliance. Try not to bob your head to the title track's chorus or not feel vindicated by the crescendo in "Gimme Gimme Gimme" where Longstreth sings "I know the world's got problems. I've got problems of my own. Not the kind that can't be solved." It can't be done. Put your faith in this guy.
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