Normally any band who releases a concept album about Don Henley of The Eagles is alright with me but when you also remember that Dirty Projectors’ main man David Longstreth also made a record of Black Flag songs “re-imagined from memory” the indie-llectualism begins to grate. That’s the problem with this sixth album from the NY band. Half of it rejoices in sweet, heartfelt love songs of real wonder and half of it is a kooky exercise in anti-song writing that gets in the way of the actual tunes. “It’s an album of songs, an album of song writing,” offers Longstreth, and he’s either being obtuse or, given the critical plaudits his band has won, hubristic. So the title track has something of early Dylan about it and it’s the most immediate song on an album. The Socialites soothes with the angelic voice of Amber Coffman, and Dance For You features gorgeous waves of modulated guitar. Dirty Projectors may be more prog rock than they’d care to admit with their jarring time signatures and mystical lyrics and when songs like See What She Seeing dart off in contradictory directions it will either be a source of delight or rank irritation. Unto Caesar, for example, is so annoying that you’ll want to punch it in the face like a Wes Anderson movie. You may find yourself stroking your chin more often than tapping your foot to Dirty Projectors.

Alan Corr