PPP, formerly known as Platinum Pied Pipers, insist they are nothing like their former selves. They are half right. For those of you who know Platinum Pied Pipers as wunderkind producers, remixers and songwriters, you’ll find that foundation seeping throughout their new album Abundance. I like this new album. It’s like gumbo without dead animals in it. The idea for Abundance, was to combine all that they know about Detroit music and cram it all into one little neat package for your ears to munch on. (Side note: They don’t touch on any of the great rock music that came from "The D." - That would be something to hear.)
Now, that half right thing I mentioned before. It takes a few listens before you actually hear anything that resembles Platinum Pied Pipers of old, and that’s because of the gleaming sheen of 'abundance' sprayed all over this album like cologne. Just like cologne losing the good fight to some very bad B.O., sheen tends to make superstars out of artists by wiping away what made them good in the first place (for example, Black-eyed Peas, who went from innovators to jigaboos in what seems like no time flat); however, it’s surprising to see it work so well on this album. PP manages to use that very same sheen as part of the whole, merely an additional tool in a sea of instruments. Also, they are a band now, (hence the change to PPP?) and have added two vocalists of extreme talent.
The songs are the shit. An amalgamation of the last six decades of Detroit music and sheen (can’t forget the sheen), that actually prefers to ignore the R. Kelly school of R&B, which tends to confuse love and depth for graphic sex and vaudeville. Abundance opens with the stomper, Angel; a declaration of sorts, or more like an introduction of what’s to come. Pigeon Hole is that classic caged bird flapping that will make you soar like you don’t believe in the ground. I don’t care how much you don’t like Jesus (I don’t), Smoking Mirrors will have you catching the holy ghost in a Mosque with its buttery orgy of gospel and electronics. Now that’s good music.
WORDS: GORP ROK