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splendid > reviews > 10/14/2002
Don Campau and MJB
Don Campau and MJB
Sinecure
Semper Lo-Fi


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Eat Meat"

Buy me now
Michael Bowman has been doing the lo-fi recording thing for a pretty long time (since 1989, to be exact). On Sinecure, the prolific home-taper, with collaborator Don Campau, has constructed a wistful, if sometimes inelegant psychedelic document, packing in a fistful of pop hooks while he's at it. According to Bowman's web site, the two crafted the record through the mail, sending each other parts of songs and letting the creative juices flow where they may. The results are scattered, surprisingly listenable and fairly clever.

The strongest tracks in the collection are the oddball pop gems that occur when Campau commandeers the musical portion of the songwriting process and leaves the vocal half to Bowman. Worth close attention are the Zappa-esque freakouts "Feed Your $ Into the Death Machine" and "Eat Meat", the latter of which is a slacker anthem featuring the lyrics "Eat meat. Drive a car. Watch TV. Get a job."

Bowman's singing contributions are definitely the more welcome of the two collaborators, as Campau's baritone and lyrics can evoke corny Hallmark sentimentalism (as in "This I Will, I Will Fulfill" and "My New Windows"). That said, Campau should be voted most likely to get filthy rich penning emotional classics for ex-boy band members once the boy band-era finally dies a much-needed death and its principals try to follow in the footsteps of folks like Enrique Iglesias.



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