Hippo Manchester
October 6, 2005

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Dandy Warhols, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars

Capitol, 2005

**1/2

by Dan Brian

Thanks to the Sundance success of the rockumentry, Dig!, which chronicles both the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Dandys have reached a new audience as well as a new level of fame.  And what better way to celebrate than to record a new album?  It’s just a shame that for many, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars will be their first taste of the fading genius that is the Dandy Warhols.

Odditorium or Warlords of Mars is a conflict at best.  Along with its awkward title, the album is supported by only a handful of catchy tracks, making it difficult to decide whether you really like this record or it will just gather dust on the shelf. The lows are low but the highs are high. Throughout many of the tracks, such as “Love Is The New Awful,” it’s as if lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor stepped up to the microphone, forgot half the lyrics to the song and then decided to improvise with a Miles Davis Bitches Brew-style extra four minutes, throwing a perfectly good pop song into the trash.

But that’s not to say there aren’t good songs on Odditorium or Warlords of Mars. The single “Smoke It” will have you getting your silhouette on and dancing like a fool for an iPod commercial.  “Down Like Disco” is a lyrically passive track that still manages to be catchy and is one of the best songs on the album.

With a few revisions, cuts and an earlier release date, the Dandy Warhols could have had an album perfect for your summer soundtrack but, alas, this falls short.  My advice: save your money for the new Franz Ferdinand album to get your rock-pop fix.