It's no surprise that David Longstreth studied music composition at Yale. The Dirty Projectors' songwriter has assembled an album that brims with sonic diversity.
Splashes of bluesy hard rock lend a Led Zeppelin flair to "Useful Chamber." Funky tribal R&B soars on "Stillness Is the Move." Waves of violin and acoustic guitar punctuate the delicate ballad "Two Doves."
Vocals are ultimately the triumph of Bitte Orca. Angular, piercing harmonies are among the earliest sounds on the lead track, "Cannibal Resource." Longstreth wisely wrote songs around the voices of Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian. He colored the singers blue and red on the artwork that adorns the album's cover, framing them as spectacles with a single vision.
It's clear Bitte Orca will stand as one of the best albums of 2009.