Chicago’s very own Poi Dog Pondering is back with their seventh studio album (their first since 2003) simply titled 7. To be completely honest (though) I’m not sure how many people even know of the band outside Chicago, but here in Chicago, the band can sell out almost any venue they might choose to play.
Back in the summer of 1995 (I think) I remember watching Poi Dog Pondering perform at Chicago’s annual 4th of July concert in Grant Park as a steamy rain poured from the sky and, at that moment, the band was electric and may as well have been the biggest band in the world. I liked Poi Dog’s mid 1990’s albums Volo Volo and Pomegranete quite a bit but then lost track of the band for many years. But judging from 7, not a whole lot has really changed in all those years.
Front man Frank Orrall and his band of merrymakers are still pumping out the same eclectic and worldly but universally approachable dance-inflected pop-rock that they seemingly always have. Orrall’s wordplay is still as full of sexual metaphor as it always has been but it all just seems a bit stale on 7 and somehow his heavy-handed poetics just don’t resonate with me anymore. The music just seems less energetic than it was back then. But maybe the only thing that’s changed is me.
Even so, 7 is still wonderfully played and orchestrated pop-rock with easy melodies but is just something that I’m not ready to embrace. Playful and soulful but a little too safe. It is a sound made for ears that are much more complacent than mine, but perhaps one day I’ll catch up to the band again.
MP3 | Poi Dog Pondering – From This Moment On 7
MP3 | Poi Dog Pondering – Rusted Weather 7