Lali Puna 
Faking the Books
/morr; 2004/



more info:

I got a new fridge. For a couple minutes i thought of how enslaving a fridge could be, and how free i was going to be without my old, dead icebox. Then i saw the bills on my desk, thought of the rent i had to pay and the 3 months' notice prior to moving out, and i realised that there were too many bonds i couldn't untie. I called my landlady and she quickly bought a new blindingly white fridge. 


It's been a while since i last got enthusiast about a Morr release. Two years ago i felt flooded under great records, filled with brilliant ideas and pop laptop experimentation. And well, since the great tribute to slowdive, nothing really impressive came to my ears. I knew something good would come sooner or later and, well, here it is.    


Lali Puna is the project of Valerie Trebeljahr and Markus Acher (The Notwist). It sounds like a poppier, less dreamy and a bit less romantic Notwist. The music is your typical idm/pop hybrid, and not really different from Lali Puna's previous releases, even though the catchiest (is that even a word?) songs -Micronomic and Left Handed- feature more live instruments. Drums and guitars everywhere. Lyrics are coldly realistic, far from the Notwist's melancholy, and sometimes feel out of place.


"just like in a b movie/ you always know what's coming next/ place for just one hero/ bad guys all around/ dont let Arnie be our last hope" in "B Movie". It is the only song that perplexes me a bit. Trying (and somehow failing) to display a political message with pop vocabulary. I wish she could just sing about how sad she is, or how she's waiting for someone to pick up the phone. The compositions are good enough to prevent the listener from paying too much attention to the lyrics, but i'd love Lali Puna to be the dreamy pop band they ought to be, rather than a proto laptop punk experiment. We have tv here, news broadcasts 24/7, and when i put a cd on i don't want to hear about Schwarzenegger.     


I'm being mean. "B Movie" is the only flaw in this otherwise great record. Still, my favourite songs are the ones with the most vague lyrics. "Left Handed" is impressive. The chorus has the band rocking like there's no tomorrow. "Faking the Books" is my favourite song, the only intimistic one in the album, the only song i can, well, relate to. 


My point is becoming clearer and clearer, i guess. The band may sound too serious sometimes, but even though i wish their songs we're warmer and a bit more human, the compositions are impressive and in the end, this record is still much better than Ms John Soda's No P. or D. Hate to say i told you so.  


-Barbara H

/apr 1st 2004/