★★★★ Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune JOYFUL NOISE. CD/DL/LP Timely reboot of ’70s psych funk pooch by Poliça and Bon Iver!
Circa 1970, Little Jerry Williams was “an R&B second banana”, unpaid for umpteen minor soul hits cut as artist/writer/producer around Alabama and Georgia. So, he reinvented himself as Swamp Dogg, a politicized pseudo canine alter-ego which excused his gonzoid lyrical indiscretions, but failed to woo mass audiences, à la George Clinton, leaving him a freak funk outsider. He’s released oddball albums throughout his career, but his latest has a curious currency, as Williams’s self-recorded tracks were post-produced remotely by Ryan Olson from Poliça, liberally deploying the eponymous vocal processor, so ubiquitous in contemporary pop. Answer Me, My Love sees a routine gospel-soul torch ballad subjected to macabre trombone riffing and vocal distortion, while Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon overlays unpredictable synth blasts on I’ll Pretend. Overall, Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune is a deviant masterpiece, which, to quote hilarious line-crosser Sex With Your Ex, “will stop you from feelin’ crappy”.