The Orinal Soundtrack, Bigott
Grabaciones en el Mar, Spain
by Carlos Reyes
Unlike any other critics’ darling artiste in our field, Borja Laudo has the heretical ritual of releasing full-length albums every single year. Rather than annual artistic reports, Bigott’s albums are like heartwarming, homemade music greeting cards – they’re silly and overly polished, but they’re also the season’s most comforting embraces. Any well-groomed moustache suggests concern for aesthetic, and Bigott has made sure to play with that in much depth. In the past three years we’ve seen Bigott’s album covers transcribing the music inside them. We’ve seen him getting a suntan in an open coffin, posing with a black eye (while keeping a neutral, passport-approved facial expression) for a painting, and on his latest album, The Orinal Soundtrack, we finally get to see him as the world’s most badass muppet (one with sunglasses of course).
In the past, Bigott has doubted comparisons to Bonnie Prince Billy and some of this generation’s most folk-solemn and serious-looking folks. This is the album in which he fully divulges the irony, cynicism, and comedic idiosyncrasy of his musical backyard. The man with the deep, roaring voice usually assorts his melodies in crisscross motion, but you would never see him stepping down from his own dramatics. In The Orinal Soundtrack, the fifth album in his career, Biggot shakes off much of the winter souvenirs and goes on to chase new findings in quotidian topics that are still very close at heart in his approach. If you’re asking how stripped down this really is, let’s say that not enough for him to shave, but enough for us to stop calling him a sweeping pessimist. And if that’s still not enough of a guidence, there’s also an all-branching, percussion-clashed song called “God is Gay.”
Whether you think the album title is a grammatical approximation to “the original soundtrack” or you’re more pulled by the likeliness of the “the urinal soundtrack” theory, this 10-track album makes impressive cases for both. Hit single and soul lifter “Cannibal Dinner” has a two-to-one ratio between strings and wall-of-sound bangs, an unlikely measure among Bigott’s career repertoire. Other tracks, like “Bar Bacharach” and “Tree Gone Motion,” will resonate more with those of us who are still more deeply intrigued by Bigott’s more restrained and morbid incarnations. In the process of making something as polished and naked to the ear as The Orinal Soundtrack, we lost a bit of the inside-joke fun, but it’s not a tragedy whatsoever. This is a great slice of high-flying pop and renaissance flirt that leaves you with the same feeling you get when your unsteady server tells you your three-gigabyte file was successfully uploaded.