The Bad Plus - It's Hard (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time - 49:01 minutes | 1017 MBStudio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover
The Bad Plus' new album, It's Hard, the group's 12th studio album, and contains only covers. There's no particular overarching aesthetic to the selection. It encompasses alternative rock from the '00s (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio); hits of the '80s (Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Peter Gabriel, Crowded House); a piece from free-jazz hero Ornette Coleman and one from a spiritual descendant of saxophone-blowing and melody-shaping, Bill McHenry; and some other unlikely idiosyncrasies (Barry Manilow). Neither is there a formula for approaching these songs. Some seem like acts of reinvention, disassembly and re-engineering (Kraftwerk sans motorik beat); others amplify the existing energy the best a mischievous acoustic piano trio can (Johnny Cash as a shuffle after too many drinks). Somewhat naive, maybe, impishly tweaked, likely.