The Bad Plus; "The Best Albums of 2009: 10 Peaks in Pop"

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Tuesday December 29, 2009

By Jim Farber

2. The Bad Plus, “For All I Care”; Is it jazz? Rock? Classical music? The New York-based instrumental trio known as the Bad Plus have gotten a lot of attention over the years for deforming songs by acts like Nirvana, Black Sabbath and Ornette Coleman into something you can’t classify. For their sixth CD, the Bad boys hired a singer for the first time, Wendy Lewis, who grounds their abstract interpretations in the specificity of language. Lewis brings to these songs emotions ranging from deadpan witty to deeply mournful, sometimes in the same phrase. The group also tackled classical pieces for the first time. It’s a wild mix, deconstructing songs from Yes, Flaming Lips, Heart, Stravinsky and more, to create a sound that’s both beautiful and alarming.

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