The ambitious often conceptually audacious music of the Dirty Projectors can best be described as art rock writ large. But where the distancing effects deployed by similar acts lacked in the emotive qualities necessary to create truly transcendent art, the Brooklyn-based six-piece backs up dazzling technique with rare artistry and something far less tangible, even mystical, in its power to capture the imagination. BITTE ORCA, DP's fifth full-length and best album by a country mile, will likely be remembered as the group's indie breakthrough. While the album's clash of herky-jerky rhythms, chiming Afro pop-style guitars, and serpentine chamber orchestrations rest defiantly outside the indie canon, front man and songwriter Dave Longstreth's ample ability with a pop hook--unencumbered by simplistic verse-chorus structures--provides an easy entry point for the uninitiated and underlines the essential struggle at the heart of the Dirty Projectors' music: an artful balancing act between the knotty, irregular structures of the natural world and the man-made artifice of familiar pop signifiers.
Spin (p.90) - "Longstreth's prickly surface belies a bright pop center: tart, sweet, and gushing all at once."
Spin (p.29) - Ranked #31 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2009" -- "The group's pinballing harmonies and capricious time signatures result in peaks of exuberant classicism..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.62) - "[With] a unified style that's all the more glorious for its strangeness." -- Grade: A-
CMJ - "This combination of total shreddage and siren-like female vocals will captivate listeners from any horizon."
Q (Magazine) (p.121) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[F]uelled by a heightened sense of drama, BITTE ORCA lurches from the semi-classical operatics of 'Stillness Is The Move' to the galloping riffs of the title track..."
Uncut (magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is the group's closest stab yet at transmuting their peculiar interests into joyful, ecstatic pop. 'Cannibal Resource' is an impossibly sunny opener..."