Album Review: Happy Rhodes | Ectotrophia | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Album Review: Happy Rhodes | Ectotrophia


Last Updated: 12/03/2018 3:44 pm

Happy Rhodes Ectotrophia
(Numero Group Records) 

Several compilations pull from Woodstock resident Rhodes’s vast catalogue, but Ectotrophia highlights ’80s rarities, meticulously remastered by a label catering to underdogs. Her style resists categorization, and her four-octave vocal range and eccentric, complex art-pop approach prompts the question, “Who’s that guy singing with Kate Bush?”

The impressive two-platter vinyl release (also on CD), with its gatefold sleeve, full-sized 16-page booklet, and archival artwork, includes 18 classically influenced synth and acoustic guitar tracks encompassing themes of the alienation, inspiration, despair, and hope of misfits. Cavernous, creepy vocals introduce “Oh the Drears” with impetuous staccato synth and lilting upper-range soprano. The pleading “If So” features gently finger-picked guitar and angelic, melancholy vocals. The otherworldly “Would That I Could,” a fairy-tinged string duet backing fae-like vocals, is based upon Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” If weird is good, you’ll find it here.


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