#16] World Leader Pretend:
Mandana Beigi Punches
This is my
world And I am the world leader pretend This is my life And
this is my time -- that was R.E.M.s subtle and mysterious tune of
the late 80s (and one of my all time favorites). Whether it was an inner monologue
in self-reflection and self-hatred, or a typical experience of internal conflict,
or a political shout about one mans power and stupidity, the song remains
as oblique as it did 20 years ago.
But then again
that was R.E.M.s World Leader Pretend and this is New Orleans
newest sound of pop rock; a young and trendy bunch who picked their name while
going through a stack of records one night.
Coming from the home of jazz, blues, zydeco, and funk, World Leader Pretend
does a fantastic job in having no immediate hint of Southern flavor, although
its the influence of soul music that makes the aesthetic of this record
so honest and tangible at times. Soul music is a sly and wonderful sort
of invention thats full of fantasy, says Hutchinson, the pianist.
The band sounds like indie rockers playing soul music inspired by Muscle Shoals,
Stax, and Memphis.
Pretend is quaint and quirky in bringing out the sound of indie pop rock in
their debut record, Punches. The album is immediately likeable. Ranging from
simple pop rock ballads and experimental Radiohead-like tunes to radio-friendly
alternative songs, Punches could easily be mistaken for a mix-tape. But, somehow
Fergusons strange hodge-podge voice and the raw yet powerful delivery
of the instruments and arrangements mesh together seamlessly -leaving it all
up to you to interpret this beautiful analogue record.