You want to know whether or not this album is any good, and, believe me, I want to be able to tell you. But we’re dealing with an unknown substance here. What I can tell you is that Planningtorock is the project name for the deep-voiced, American-cum-Berliner Janine Rostron, and that Have It All is her debut album of truly bizarre electronic pop. While most artists work their weirdness through odd song structures and kooky instrumentation, Rostron is a subtle subverter of what we commonly expect from the pop/rock song format. There are verses and choruses, fairly straightforward beats, and even identifiable musical landmarks: early electro, Sparks, T. Rex, Robert Plant, and, not surprisingly, the electroclash group Chicks on Speed, who own Planningtorock’s label. But knowing all of this still doesn’t insulate my brain from the queasily unsettling ride through the hall of mirrors, parallel pop universe that is Have It All. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself. But be sure to lie down immediately afterward. This album will make you feel weird.
// Notes from the Road
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