Well, to put it simply, this is the shit. This is what I call a great trip-hop album, even though I bet that the musicians would want to punch me in the face for such crude pigeonholing. Whatever, they can call it whatever they want, but this is a site about trip-hop and A Bright Cold Day fits the profile perfectly. One of my friends said (jokingly) when I told her that there is a new American trip-hop band around: “Americans can’t do trip-hop!” Dutch is a living proof that yes, they can. Collaboration of Philadelphia-based hip-hop DJ known as Stoupe the Enemy Of Mankind (why is that all the good hip-hop names are already taken?) of Jedi Mind Tricks (no idea who they are) and the beautiful Liz Fullerton. I have no idea what she looks like, actually, but she oughta be, for her voice is fantastic. A Bright Cold Day grabs the entirety of your poor soul with the very first beats of the haunting intro, with the dial tone and the heartbreaking first sentence: ‘We just got off the phone, and it’s over…’ Much like the character of the song, who learns to ‘open all the doors just before it rains’ I had no choice but open up whatever emotional crevasses were available in my rock-solid personality (just kiddin’ I am a very emotional human being). The mood of the album I’d compare to the light of the end of the tunnel that is so bright that it actually makes the very tunnel not that unpleasant of a place. Beats and samples are very cinematographic, reminiscent of spaghetti westerns and James Bond soundtracks (check out “Beyond All Walking”), while vocals are floating freely never subdued by calculated structure, adding to the album this oh-so-American indie-pop/singer-songwriter flavor (“Meaning Of Unequipped” is a 100% acoustic track, carefully inserted towards the end). I personally wouldn’t mind some rapping to be thrown in, but it could have ruined this intentionally sappy and faux-melancholic mood. Reminded me of Dan The Automator/Prince Paul collaborations, less adventurous in the sample department and not as tongue-in-cheek but more sensual and with more sparkle and lyricism.
personal favs “California Cloaked In Wool”, “2000 Leagues Under My Keyboard”, “Cerulean”