Radum Calls, Radum Calls album cover
Radum Calls, Radum Calls

Sean O'Hagan

Drag City

For his first solo album since 1990, O’Hagan carries through some ideas from his days as leader of The High Llamas, but enlivens those approaches with lessons learned from recent R&B and hip-hop – Tyler The Creator, Tierra Whack, Noname – while digging deep into his own history, by reconnecting with Cathal O’Coughlan, the singer of O’Hagan’s first band, Microdisney. So, narratives collapse on Radum Calls, and so, in some ways, does O’Hagan’s vision of the pop song, to be replaced by clacking Brazilian grooves through “On A Lonely Day (Ding, Dong),” piano-driven mantras on “Spoken Gem,” and flighty, bitcrushed grooves on “Candy Clock.” O’Hagan always sounds inspired, but here his aesthetic seems to collide more naturally with what’s going on in popular culture, and it works, beautifully.

Jon Dale

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