Rahim - Ideal Lives (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Ideal Lives (2006)


Rahim's first EP was, well, good. Not memorable, or interesting. Ya know? Good. Listenable. Something to put on and say, "Yeah, I like Gang of Four and Q and Not U as well." Leaps and bounds, this one has taken! Bounds and leaps! That's probably how someone else would describe the transition between records, but to me, adding bongos, a Les Savy Fav drum beat and mariachi horns is more akin to, oh, I'd say Tolkien spending extra time writing fanciful verses for the songs that his hobbits sing. Does it really affect the story or the overall structure? No. Does it add lots of much needed color that can be ignored if felt like? Yes. What's really setting this album apart is the melodies and harmonies.

New to this record are sustained guitar/bass chords that layer over each other, adding dimension to the eversopopular angular riffs. The opener, "KlangKlangKlan," features these sparingly, but yet again, it's the dash of paprika that really makes a fried egg sammitch. Just kidding. I hate eggs.

Texturizing! Manipulating your instruments to make that helicopter "whikkawhikkawhikka" muting! The spice for track two, "Something from an Amputee." See also: spare drum hits that really mean it. Using sparse prose to get the point across. The Hemingway of the first two tracks. Goes great with a side of jelly on toast. Just $3.95. And the Phil Spector bells/harmonics layering!

Pleasantries on this album also include the pleasant, upbeat, summery vocal harmonies and key melodies of "Forever Love," the ongoing drone of "Desire," the spacey, breathy, minute-long "Satisfy," and the dynamics of "In the Kitchen." New layers to cover up the old!

That is to say, this album isn't without clunkers, har har, since the astute rhythms of this album are, uh, clunky to begin with. Ain't that the point of the so called by us ever so vigilant "angular" genre? Isn't it supposed to be disjointed and sparse? Well, er, yes. But too much angularness, or too less noises to pull me through an album can lose my interest. Doerser that makes this a baaaaad album? Iono, but at least I know that I ain't gonna be listening to it for toooo much longer before I have to cut down and find something else to pollute my earwaves with.

Finish this review yourself:

I really _______ this album!
a) like
b) really like
c) love
d) hate

Rahim shows _______ .
a) improvement.
b) us how to have a good time.
c) houses to potential buyers on the weekends.
d) us that not only are bells viable on a "punk" record, but so are guitars, basses and drums!

I would totally ________ .
a) use this as a firecracker.
b) that previous answer doesn't make sense, I think he meant, blow it up with a firecracker.
c) yeah, b) makes sense.

Ta-da! Now do your homework.