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Jason Bonthron - Cyclops

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Jason Bonthron's music is wildly eclectic, so if you're expecting a predictable journey while listening to Cyclops, you've got another thing coming.

Bonthron takes the lion's share of the lead vocals, although Danielle Stauss also sings lead, as well as backs Bonthron on occasion. One titled "AM Radio" is particularly curious. Stauss sings it, and its lyric appears to suggest that listening to the radio reminds her of a painful period in her life. "And there is nothing I can say/It was the day my girlfriend died," she sings at one point. The track is quiet and atmospheric, but also includes some nice Gypsy fiddle.

This one's followed by "Not Today, which, with its funky, like 70s soul, couldn't be more different from what precedes it. Bonthron does his best David (Talking Heads) Byrne imitation while singing it. In fact, the song's paranoid lyrics also bring Byrne's distinctively nervous persona to mind. No two tracks on this 8-song release sound remotely alike. For instance, "Liquid Metal Hydrogen" is hardly pop-sounding at all, but instead is kind of creepy, atmospheric and industrial. Then on "Watch Out!, Bonthron sings it in a low voice, and is accompanied by some jazzy, wailing saxophone parts. On "Skate Rat," both Stauss and Bonthron sing together. It features sci-fi-y lyrics, and is put to a dance-y beat.

Cyclops was a famous mythical one-eyed creature. But you'll need both eyes open and each ear tuned in closely to catch everything that's going on with this beautiful patchwork of an album.

Jason Bonthron - Cyclops
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