"Beyond Good and Evil"
It’s hard not to like
the mash-up of hi-fi styles Clouseaux offers up with each
and every new album. With Clouseaux’s music you get surf
twang, cocktail cool, haunting exotica, and a healthy dose of Latin lounge.
Their latest album Beyond Good and Evil builds on the intricate
mix of musical styles that was heard on their last album Lagoon.
Where as Lagoon was built more on a foundation of Exotica,
this time around they work off more surf guitar and space-age pop influences
(much like their self-titled debut album). That’s not to say they skimp
on the Exotica. It’s there in tunes like “Paraiso,” “The Monkey with the
Golden Fez,” and “Jungle Witch.” But Beyond Good and Evil
has an undercurrent of martini sophistication running through the tunes.
Take for instance the beautiful mod-like ballad “Catalonia.”
Being based in Houston,
Texas, Clouseaux seems to be smack-dab in the middle of east
coast and west coast influences. Their music is urbane and cool. Experimental
but grounded. It is the middle point between, say, Combustible Edison
and Don Tiki. Beyond Good
and Evil, like other Clouseaux albums, is a wonderfully
complex joining of classic styles—Exotica tango? Cha-cha surf guitar? Tijuana
Brass prog rock? This juxtaposition of genres only helps to enhance the
playfulness of the album—which is also increased by the use of vintage
movie and television clips at the start of most tracks.
boldly go where other lounge and exotica bands fear to tread. This strange
band from Houston blends up all sorts of classic retro styles, coming out
with something that’s fresh and inventive. Some retro albums seem more
like museum pieces taking a measured and stoic approach to the music. Beyond
Good and Evil is nothing like that. It is a living, breathing,
amazing musical creature.