If not a full-on return to the excellence of 2000’s 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia, the Dandy Warhols’s Earth to the Dandy Warhols, their first album for their new label, is notable for not being quite as pissy and judgmental as its predecessor, 2005’s awful Odditorium or Warlords of Mars. As its title makes plain, Earth is the art-rock quartet’s second consecutive space-based concept album; what the title doesn’t give away is that it’s also the band’s second consecutive album to play out as something of a survey course of modern popular music as filtered through the Dandys’s primary set of influences. What makes Earth an effective reboot of Mars, then, is that frontman, producer and principal songwriter Courtney Taylor-Taylor doesn’t sound like he’s condescending quite so severely to the various styles that he and his band adopt over the course of these 13 songs. And even when there’s cause to suspect that there’s an ironic remove in place, as on the sunny pop of opener “The World (Come On),” the sing-along “Mis Amigos” and the Outlaw country-inspired “The Legend of the Last of the Outlaw Truckers AKA The Ballad of Sheriff Shorty,” the songs still have effective hooks. The dance-punk of “Welcome to the Third World,” in fact, is the band’s best single since “Bohemian Like You,” even when lines like, “You dance pretty good for an almost white girl” and “Your lips sure do match my wallet” and a refrain of “The boys like the girls/But the girls like the money/The girls like the boys/But the boys like the honey” do nothing to mask their mean streak. Their smug posturing makes the Dandy Warhols a difficult act to like, but the sheer quality of their songcraft on Earth goes a long way toward earning them a measure of goodwill.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: