Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time
If you're like me, you learned about the Beta Band when John Cusack announced that he was going to sell a half-dozen of the band's Three EPs during the movie High Fidelity, at which point he started playing "Dry the Rain," and everyone in the record store began to bob their heads in unison. Steve Mason was the unspoken leader of that band. With this solo effort, you can spot Beta Band's imagination, variety--from rap to gospel to "folktronic"--catchy hooks, beautiful melodies, and solid, introspective lyrics. "A Lot of Love" is probably the album's best song, but it's not available on Youtube--wtf?--so here's "Lonely," a solid tune backed, apparently, by gospel singers. What a fun album this is.