Kaada Thank You for Giving Me Your Valuable Time

[Ipecac; 2003]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: trip-hop, sound collage, film music, wop-hop?
Others: Mike Patton, DJ Shadow, RJD2, Prefuse 73, Yann Tiersen, Michael Nyman

Oh, Mike Patton and your pet project Ipecac Records. You’ve burned me a few times, with eX-Girl, Mondo Generator, and innumerable mediocre Melvins releases. But that’s all forgotten. With the release of Kaada’s genre-defying masterpiece, Thank You for Giving Me Your Valuable Time, it's all water under the bridge. A dash of DJ Shadow, a pinch of Prefuse 73, and a dollop of Americana and doo-wop constitute the song craft of this clever Scandinavian. On paper, this is Classic Endtroducing Sample Based Trip-Hop. But, in practice, it's so much more. As hinted above, Kaada utilizes snippets from songs spanning from the 50s to the 70s, with a special affinity for doo-wop; and where most sample based music fails by coming across as sarcastic and empty, this, like Prefuse’s One Word Extinguisher, sounds sincere and soulful. From the wail that kicks off the first track, "Care," to the Motown vocals on the closing track, which shares the album’s title, Kaada shapes uniformly excellent songs, and all with loving attention.

Rather than creating snarky juxtapositions with his samples, Kaada makes songs the original artists might have made themselves. There’s an uncannily meshed duet on "Care," melancholy piano flanked by droning bass to back up the lyrics “Please don’t ever leave me/If you do, I’ll go crazy” on "No, You Don’t," and the irrepressibly smiling tune "Honk" that starts by reassuring the listener that they’re a good person. But don’t think that spans the territory mapped on this album. Every track has a style unto itself, and it makes for a truly unique listening experience.

All pains are forgiven, Mike. You brought me Kaada and his labor of love, Thank You for Giving Me Your Valuable Time. And thank you, Kaada, for making what may well be the best album I’ve heard so far in 2003.

1. Care
2. Mainframe
3. Black California
4. Burden
5. No You Don't
6. Go Brown
7. All Wrong
8. Honk
9. I Need You
10. Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time

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