Release Date: Aug 19, 2008
Record label: World's Fair
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
On ...Earth to the Dandy Warhols..., Courtney Taylor and company do indeed seem to be a little more down to earth than they were on the very uneven Odditorium or the Warlords of Mars, debuting their own label with a much more consistent collection of songs. That's "consistent" in terms of quality -- the Dandy Warhols always seem the most comfortable when they're hopping from sound to sound, mood to mood, instead of sticking with just one approach for an entire album. If their eclecticism can be considered a signature Warhols sound, then ...Earth to the Dandy Warhols...
Their star might have dimmed somewhat since the days when their 'Bohemian Like You' was adopted for a mobile phone ad, but the Dandy Warhols have lost none of their cocky self-regard. Unsurprisingly, then, their sixth album (and the first on their own label) is their most self-assured set yet, veering from sparkling glam to funky New Orleans boogie by way of early Nineties shoegazing. .
At first this album sounds half-decent, and unlikely excursions into Thin White Duke-esque funk and jangly country-influenced pop suggest that the band might be expanding on the glammed-up space rock they've been mining for most of their career. Unfortunately, the shortcomings come to the surface once you start paying more attention. The biggest problem is that they're surfing an uncomfortable line between parody and self-parody.
To their hot-blooded fans, the Dandy Warhols are dizzyingly inventive alternative-rock heroes. To the rest of the western world, they are the arrogant stars of rock documentaries and Vodafone adverts, and their achingly dull eighth album does little to alter that assessment. It starts with The World the People Together (Come On), a totally vague stadium anthem that has no heart or spine.
If ever there was an album worthy of breaking out the video of the monkey drinking its own piss again, it just well may be Earth to the Dandy Warhols. Like it’s cinematic brethren Last Action Hero, the Dandy Warhols’ sixth studio album aims to mock indie conventions but only serves to embrace their worst tendencies. The Dandy Warhols’ self-righteousness is as baffling as this album is stupid, and apparently 70 minutes couldn’t contain the entire band’s ego.