|Brian Transeau has never been afraid to mix it up, to leap
from genre to genre within the same album. While his contemporaries often remain fixated
on one particular style, Transeau's mind wanders with the intensity and vigor of a young
child. Movement in Still Life -- BT's third full-length -- couples an arsenal of excellent
collaborators with Transeau's own seasoned studio wisdom for a delightfully erratic set of
tunes ranging from blunted hip-hop to orgasmic trance.
Upon hearing "Madskillz-Mic Chekka" -- the spastic leadoff track
that melds dancehall, hip-hop, and Crystal Method-like breaks -- it's rather apparent that
Transeau wants to even further distance himself from his trance roots than he did on
Thankfully, the further he strays, the better the music gets. "Never Gonna Come Back
Down" pounds with live drums, a Chemical-esque bass line, and the spontaneous lyrical
presence of Soul
Coughing's M. Doughty, while Rasco's
rhymes flow over some wicked, rock-inflected grooves on "Love on Haight Street."
Trance hasn't completely left the picture. Movement has
powerful anthems, including "Dreaming," "Godspeed," and the gorgeous
"Running the Down Way Up," a track where Transeau weaves hints of acoustic
guitar into a throbbing groove that's topped with soothing vocals from Kirsty Hawkshaw.
Transeau once again steps to the mike on this record, more than making up for E.S.C.M.'s
miserable Nine Inch Nails impersonation, "Solar Plexus." On Movement's
"Shame" and "Satellite," Transeau sings with a Morrissey-like
restraint and crafts tunes that respectfully mimic such heroes as New Order and Depeche
Mode, right down to the faux British accent.
Many artists try their hand at varying stylistically within
the same album, but often fail miserably. With Movement in Still Life, BT has turned out
one of those rare albums that actually pulls it off.
CDNOW Editorial Staff