So far, 2011 is proving to be a great year for music, and a great year for Indie-Rock. Des Ark's second full length, Don't Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker, is surely doing its part to earn the genre's such high acclaim. It's an album that took 3 years to record, but the time spent on it paid off. Aimee Argote, the mastermind behind Des Ark, has delivered one of the finest albums of the year.
The atmospheric trickling sound of piano keys and bells open up the album with “My Saddle Is Waiting (C'mon jump On It).” This leads into the plucking of strings of Argote's guitar. It's a soothing melody that's only enhanced by Argote's becalming vocals. About a quarter away from the end, the track takes a bit of a dramatic shift and breaks out of the gentle tune we had been hearing. The opener is followed by the sifting rhythms of, “Girls Get Ruff”--a harrowing track that recounts a haunting experience and the resulting distrust in men. Aimee Argote's voice becomes the forefront on the next song, “Bonne Chance Asshole.” It opens with her vocals while a barely audible guitar plays in the background. She takes it into a boisterous release of beats and keys. However, her voice still carries over it and leads the way. As we reach the half-way point, the album makes a sudden change in tone—taking a darker road. “Ashley's Song” is one of the best songs I've heard all year, and it's still holding up after countless listens. It's a full blown indie-rock number with a fiery performance, esoteric melodies, and an array of unexpected tempo and volume changes.
The second half of Don't Rock The Boat... starts off with “FTW Y'all!!!” The introduction to the song expresses some Post-Rock influence before turning into the “poppiest” track on the record. It goes from being mellow to becoming an upbeat dance number about coming to realize who you are and embracing it. “Howard's Hour of Shower” serves almost as an interlude with a beautiful performance from Argote and harmonious backing track from Noah Howard that really shines throughout the song. Des Ark takes us back to that darker realm from “Ashley's Song,” on “It's Only a Bargain If You Want It.” It flounders around hard hitting drums and dismal melodies as we're lead into the only verse on the track. Don't Rock The Boat... closes with “Two Hearts are Better Than One"--more of a symphonic piece than the rest of the album. The ringing of bells start the track off as Argote comes in with her piano and guitar. The verses bleed into an open chorus, while the song closes to the sounds of birds chirping. I could not think of a better way to close the album, than with this angelic track.
Des Ark's, Don't Rock the Boat, Sink The Fucker is a very expressive and emotional album that contains some of the best songwriting I've heard all year. So much diversity and heart is offered from this record, and that only amplifies my appreciation for it. This album deserves to make top ten lists for the end of 2011. I know it'll be on mine.
9.0 / 10
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