Comes with a Smile # webexclusives
issues | the songs | interviews | reviews | images | web exclusives | top 10 | history | search

April 2006 / October 2005 / February-April 2005 / November-December 2004 / July 2004 / March-April 2004 / November-December 2003 / June-July 2003 / March-April 2003 / January-February 2003 / December 2002 / November 2002 / August 2002 / May-June 2002 / November 2001 / October 2001 / June-July 2001 / all web exclusives / search

Bodega | Without A Plan (Brobdingnagian)
This is top-drawer pop with psych leanings and a nice line in schizophrenic decade skipping. Whilst the press blurb drops his name at every opportunity, it's inevitable that co-producer and mixer Dave Fridmann gets a mention for his sonic inventiveness here, although how much is down to Bodega's mainman, Andrew Rodriguez who's to say? He did, after all, write the album's dozen songs and sing, play piano, guitar and harmonium among others, so we'll happily file him under 'unfairly talented' and give him the larger back slap for a job very well done. Whether double-tracked, phased, or left unadorned, Rodriguez voice is amiably quirky, leaping into falsetto without warning, but never affected, and often harmonising with itself to great effect. With the exception of the brief retro Hendrix burst, Don't Have A Clue, 'Without A Plan' is as warm and welcoming as a marshmallow cloud, unashamedly nostalgic for a time when pop music was exploratory and intelligent yet still steeped in melody and hooks.

Matt Dornan
August 2002