Animal Feelings

Jumping head first into the synth-laden world of electro-pop, prolific artist and producer Rafter Roberts—who’s recorded bands like The Black Heart Procession and Rocket From the Crypt—has created a nutty mesh of sounds with his most recent work. Animal Feelings blends funky beats, ’80s synth and lusty lyrics, punctuated by random, offbeat percussion and a variety of video game noises. Oh, and a whole lot of cowbell.

Certainly poppy and danceable, Animal Feelings still falls short of its potential. Overbearing, repetitive lyrics consistently curtail promising rhythms. In “Never Gonna Die,” Rafter has a tendency to repeat a few words over and over for an eternity, and the persistent metallic clinking quickly becomes grating.

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“Fruit,” one of the better songs on the album, features some awesomely funky guitar riffs and is reminiscent, in a good way, of a Super Mario Bros. soundtrack. “Timeless Form, Formless Time” and “Paper” are both fun hip-shakers that give you the impression that great music is about to happen. More often than not, though, it doesn’t.

Rafter plays the Palace Friday, Sept. 24, at 9 PM for the KBGA Birthday Bash. $7/$5 advance at UM’s KBGA office.

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