Eric Randolph Rasmussen’s (aka Salon de la Guerre) eleventh album The Church of Low Expectations is a sprawling eighteen-song effort. I have to mention the description he has on his Bandcamp page. He says, “A pop album of dark doings, where strained, ethically challenged characters straddle the abyss but reach for the light.” I didn't know what that meant when I read it and still don't after thinking about it.
There is a good amount of singing on this record. Not something you always hear from Rasmussen. This album is unsurprisingly original and something that could only come from the mind of Rasmussen. Each song brings something new to the table.
The album starts with “Bambi Meets Thumpers” which is unlike anything he has done before. He is on the verge of rapping on this song. The beat is pretty unique as are the melodies. After all is said and done the song somehow works. Don’t miss this one.
After a successful instrumental piece entitled “The Note He Floated” he launches into more of his more straightforward rocks songs entitled “The Church of Low Expectations.” That's not the case with the disjointed “Baby By Now.”
One of my personal favorites was “Master Kale” which might push you over the edge into complete madness if you are on the verge of cracking. My roommate freaked out twice while listening to this and threw his toast out the window. Luckily, the toast did not hurt anyone and was eaten by a couple of pigeons within the hour.
Another highlight is “Salad Year.” I thought this was one of his best vocal performances. Both in delivery and the melody. “Blue Morning, Greenwich Village” is another one I would be put in a clear win column.
Rasmussen is only held back by his imagination. The Church of Low Expectations is as diverse as anything he has put out yet he still manages to be bound by a willingness to take chances where many others won’t.
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