Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY, October 19
Dent May is best known as a ukulele troubadour, which is precisely why Do Things was so surprising. Here, backed by a full band, May experimented with sun-kissed pop, specks of restrained psychedelia and tasteful, light electronics. And on record, he pulled it off with carefree style; songs like "Fun," "Rent Money" and "Find It" were a testament to May's newfound diversity — even if his swooning vocals still took centre stage.
Photo: Michelle Cortese
That, of course, set high expectations for his Public Assembly set at CMJ. Yet Do Things' songs felt markedly less inspired in a live setting, as May's vocal harmonies, always the band's highlight, felt tired. The band's subtle melodies — which, on record, come across as tactful — blended into each other, lending the entire set an amorphous quality.
But the set's weakest points came during its dance-y moments, on songs like "Wedding Day" and "Best Friend." In recording, these felt like whimsical forays into disco; live, they were like the type of tired, four-on-the-floor indie pop we'd left back in 2005.
May's set earns a passing grade because didn't offend, but unfortunately, it did little to stand out.
Be the first to comment