Jimmy Tamborello is best known as the silent partner in The Postal Service, an electronic experiment that paid off immensely (thanks Sub Pop publishing) with Death Cab's dishy Ben Gibbard on nectareous vocal duties. But TPS isn't the only project from Mr. "no-tambourine man" Tamborello, no no. Along with Figurine, James Figurine, Dublab, Jimmy is the main gadget operator of Dntel, whose new album Dumb Luck is a nine-track cargo rack full of synthetic luggage for a voyage deep into the microcosm of electronic existence.
On this highly, meaning way up in the cosmos, collaboration, Tamborello tapped the talents of a comely crew including Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), Edward Droste (Grizzly Bear), Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), and a few others, who honestly provide more interesting results than the aforementioned brand names.
There are no radio smashes, instant classics, or power poppers on this capricious adapter, which bends and twists like a lucid fantasy, morphing in and out of solid state, while transforming into an entirely new world, only to crumble and fade back into a past reality, like a window gaze during fourth period algebra.
"Roll On" features Jenny Lewis on vocals and is probably the most exquisite selection in the grab bag, since it features Jenny Lewis on vocals. "Too A Fault," featuring Grizzly Bear Droste, feels like a demo session from Yellow House, and the Oberst fueled "Breakfast In Bed" makes me want to hit the snooze and catch some more Zzzs.
Heavily chopped instrumentals are often stiff and lifeless, despite the great risks the musicians take to align such strange arrangements, or lack thereof. Tamborello calls Dumb Luck a "40-minute drone piece," which is a fairly sufficient prognosis for his atypical experiment, which feels less like a proper album and more like the result of a recording session at the famous Seattle amusement park / eyesore, Experience Music Project.