The Good Feeling Music of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukelele
Author: Joe Ragusa
Rating: 1.5 / 5
This is the kind of music my mom rebeled against in the early 60’s, and in no way has it been updated for today’s audience. Dent May tries (let me repeat that . . . tries) to bring back 50’s pop crooner music in his debut album off of Animal Collective’s record label, but falls completely flat. May’s voice sounds forced and annoying, especially on the songs “You Can’t Force a Dance Party” and “I’m an Alcoholic.” The lyrics in the song “College Town Boy” sound like too obvious an attempt to try and make this kind of music appeal to our demographic, and it’s hard to take May seriously when he croons “Get off your ass and do something” with a barbershop quartet singing “Sha la la la la” in the background. “I’m an Alcoholic” sounds like he’s trying to make a sad song, but again it’s hard to take him seriously with the annoying light-heartedness of his voice, along with the quirky backup singers “Ba ba ba”-ing in the background. The main problem with this album, though, is that every song sounds the same. “At the Academic Conference” sounds like a slower version of “Meet Me in the Garden.” “Oh Paris!” and “You Can’t Force A Dance Party” might as well be the same song. And every song from the overly showmanistic opening track “Welcome” to the awkwardly poppy “Love Song 2009” features the same consistent layout of a few repetitive ukelele chords and a tambourine to try and give Dent’s outdated style a Brazilian Tropicana feel to them. I will give him credit for that, it does sound like music you’d be able to chill out with in a hammock on a beach on some far off tropical island, if his lyrics and voice don’t completely depress and/or enrage you.