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Tinfoil on the Windows

(Clothes Horse; US: 13 Nov 2007; UK: Available as import)

soso’s own press material says that he falls into the genre of “avant-garde hip hop/alt rap”. Listening to his latest album, Tinfoil on the Windows, one would likely suspect that the primary reason these labels apply to him is that spoken word artists just don’t sell as well as hip-hop artists. On Tinfoil on the Windows, soso offers poetry, offset by stretches where he sings refrains in a strained, broken, awkwardly high tenor. A fellow who goes by the name of Maybe Smith offers lush backdrops with pianos, guitars, and lots of atmospheric noises and washes of sound. There’s no doubt that soso believes in his art, that he puts his entire soul into it, and that’s great, that’s wonderful, actually; unfortunately, it’s just very hard to enjoy something so self-conscious, so utterly, deadly serious, and so pointlessly artsy. Even when soso lets loose with an absurd line like “I know that local hero shit is wack” (as he does on “Company of Chairs”), he does it with such a self-aware gravity that it loses the shock of its surface silliness. soso’s hometown of Saskatoon sounds like a bleak, lonely place, and that’s probably the point, but the mere fact that he gets that point across isn’t enough to revisit the argument any more than absolutely necessary.


Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.

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