James Pants James Pants

James Pants James Pants
Maybe it's the faux surname that always instils a sense of comedy into James Pants' music, but on his third outing, the singer-songwriter/producer has gone straight. After exploring Stones Throw's open call for weirdness on his funky Welcome debut and assuming the role of a cult leader on its concept-leaning follow-up, 2009's Seven Seals, he's gone so far as self-titling his third album to get such a point across. But in eschewing his wacky persona, Pants hasn't toned down the disparity that's defined him as a musician and producer. As always, the album runs all over the place, jumping from the hyper-speed Krautrock of "Strange Girl" and cosmic pop of "Incantation" to the slap bass-heavy funk of "Kathleen" and the demented soft rock of "Alone." More than ever though, his song structures, and overall album, are as cohesive and coherent as you could hope for from such an eccentric personality. And like Ariel Pink with his most recent release, Pants is sure to draw in more listeners this way. Because without all of the gimmickry, Pants makes a convincing argument as a serious artist, all while maintaining that fundamentally and wildly entertaining leftfield stance he's always possessed. (Stones Throw)